House Dem pledges Trump impeachment vote by Christmas

Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenTrump administration ending support for 7 Texas testing sites as coronavirus cases spike The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Miami mayor worries about suicide and domestic violence rise; Trump-governor debate intensifies Overnight Energy: Iconic national parks close over coronavirus concerns | New EPA order limits telework post-pandemic | Lawmakers urge help for oil and gas workers MORE (D-Texas) announced on Wednesday that he will force a vote on the House floor to impeach President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE before Christmas.

“I now announce that before Christmas, there will be a vote on the chief inciter of racism, bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, sexism, ethnocentrism. There will be a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the impeachment of the president,” Green said in a House floor speech. 

Green had previously unveiled articles of impeachment last month. But he held off from forcing a vote at the time, citing a desire for the public to have a chance to consider them.

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The Texas Democrat did not offer a specific date for when he would force a vote, saying only that it would be before the December holiday.

Forcing a vote on impeachment could be more awkward for Democrats than for Republicans.

Virtually all Republicans would presumably vote to reject Green’s effort to impeach Trump. But it would split Democrats, a handful of whom are agitating for Trump’s impeachment. 

However, most of the House Democratic caucus, including its leadership, think voting to impeach Trump at this point would be premature and ultimately backfire. They want to wait for the outcome of the special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s investigation of whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government in 2016 before detonating the political bomb of impeachment.

Twelve Democrats represent districts carried by Trump in 2016, which would put them in a particularly risky position as they seek to avoid angering the president’s supporters. 

“And while I have been told that there are political consequences for what I will do, I accept the consequences,” Green said.

Under House rules, under member can force a vote on what is known as a “privileged” resolution within two days after giving notice of their intentions.

Republicans would likely move to table the resolution, resulting in a procedural vote that would serve as the first referendum in Congress on impeaching Trump.

“Whatever others will do is their choice. My conscience dictates that I will vote to impeach. Let others do what they may. History will judge us all,” Green said.

His articles of impeachment do not accuse Trump of committing a crime. Instead, Green’s impeachment articles state that Trump has “undermined the integrity of his office” and “brought disrepute on the presidency” with his equivocating response to the violence stemming from a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va.; attacks on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality; and since-dismissed allegations by Trump that former President Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower.

By contrast, an article of impeachment filed by Rep. Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanHouse passes bill to sanction Chinese banks over Hong Kong security law The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - As virus concerns grow, can it get worse for Trump? Black Caucus rallies behind Meeks for Foreign Affairs gavel MORE (D-Calif.) alleges that Trump obstructed justice by firing James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed The Seila Law case: Liberty and political firing A new age of lies? MORE as director of the FBI amid the agency's investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 election.

Green’s announcement on an issue that divides Democrats came a day after the party won resounding victories in elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey. In Virginia, Democrats are close to unexpectedly taking control of the GOP-controlled House of Delegates.

“I pray that this country will continue to reject what the inciter-in-chief, Donald J. Trump, has been causing this country to have to endure,” Green said.

—Updated at 11:22 a.m.