Green: Democrats risk demoralizing base if they don't impeach Trump

Green: Democrats risk demoralizing base if they don't impeach Trump
© Greg Nash
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), one of the biggest proponents in Congress of impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE, warned on Monday that Democrats could risk demoralizing their supporters in next year's elections if they don't move forward with impeachment.
 
Green’s comments come as Democrats are under increasing pressure to move forward with impeachment in light of a recent intelligence community whistleblower report apparently regarding a conversation Trump had with the president of Ukraine. Trump acknowledged that he brought up corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE, a 2020 Democratic candidate for president, in a phone call with Ukraine’s leader but said the conversation was proper. 
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"If we don’t do this rather quickly, the public is going to turn on us. And we are going to find that those who went to the polls and gave us this great majority are going to be very disappointed. They are not going to side with us when we did not side with them," Green said at a rally with By the People, activists advocating for impeachment on Capitol Hill. 
 
Green has forced three House floor votes on impeaching Trump since 2017, most recently in July, when a total of 95 Democrats voted in favor of his effort. 
 
Green dismissed recent polling suggesting a majority of the public isn't on board with impeachment, arguing Democrats could change that by moving to impeach Trump.

"Polls can drive you, or you can drive the polls. You drive the polls by showing people evidence of what you believe to be the case," Green said.
 
Polling does indicate that most Democrats believe Congress should move ahead with impeachment. A Politico-Morning Consult poll last week found that 7 in 10 Democrats support beginning impeachment proceedings. But only 37 percent overall back the move. 

More than half of the House Democratic Caucus has expressed support for the impeachment process in some form, ranging from backing an inquiry to investigate whether Trump warrants impeachment to saying they'd vote to impeach him today.
 
Green said Democrats need to make clear they are moving forward with impeachment and not merely debating whether to do so.

"It is time for the Congress to do its job and start the impeachment process, not an inquiry. The impeachment process should be starting. And once we start, the public will come along," Green said.
 
Momentum has been building for impeachment over the summer, particularly since former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE testified before Congress in late July. But Green said the latest controversy over an intelligence community whistleblower complaint against the president was adding pressure for Democrats to proceed with impeachment.

"I think that we are at a point where people who probably don't want to do it will find themselves moving in the direction of doing it simply because there's just too much evidence to ignore," Green said.

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE (D-Mich.), who joined Green at Monday's rally in support of impeachment, said the reported whistleblower allegations should be enough to warrant impeachment.

"When do we say enough is enough? We have to hold them accountable, and the way we do that is through impeachment," Tlaib said.

"He is jeopardizing and endangering our democracy every single day. We have a whistleblower complaint that was filed by a member of the intelligence community and the director of the intelligence blocked it from being shared to the United States Congress, violating the law. Enough is enough," Tlaib said.
 
 
Pelosi, in a letter to lawmakers over the weekend, warned that if the Trump administration continues to block the intelligence community whistleblower from disclosing the complaint to Congress, “they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.”
 
But some liberal activists are starting to crank up the pressure on Pelosi. 
 
In a statement on Monday, the leader of one of the liberal groups that put pressure on lawmakers over the summer to back impeachment called on Pelosi to “do her job.”
 
“Speaker Pelosi is letting the American people down. Her inaction in the face of Trump’s crimes and corruption is unacceptable and a dereliction of her duty,” Sean Eldridge, Stand Up America's founder and president, said. 
 
“We demand that she not only publicly support the impeachment inquiry but work with Chairman Nadler to enact an aggressive hearing schedule, draft articles of impeachment, and vote to hold Trump accountable this fall,” he added.