Judiciary Democrat says as a black man 'the idea that elections can be undermined is not theoretical'

Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonProgressives urge Democrats to hear from federal judge deeply critical of Roberts, conservatives House approves bill banning flavored tobacco products Clinton advises checking your voter registration during Trump's State of the Union MORE (D-Ga.) said Wednesday that as a black man representing Georgia “the idea that elections can be undermined is not theoretical.”

Johnson said during the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on articles of impeachment that Jim Crow laws demonstrated that elections could be sabotaged in the U.S.

“I’m a black man representing Georgia, born when Jim Crow was alive and well,” he said. “To me, the idea that elections can be undermined is not theoretical.”

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He said his constituents, after living in a time when their voting rights were restricted because of their race, know democracy "is fragile."

“I have constituents who remember what it’s like to live in a democracy in name only, and they can tell you what it’s like when powerful men undermine fair and free elections,” he said.

The Georgia representative spoke as the committee prepares to vote on articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? MORE Thursday.  

Democrats moved forward with articles of impeachment against Trump after a whistleblower report detailed him asking the Ukrainian president to look into his potential 2020 opponent Joe BidenJoe BidenPoll: Majority 'sympathetic' to protesters, disapprove of Trump's response In a year like no other, we'll hold the election of our lifetime The Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen MORE. Days before he asked, Trump withheld military aid from the country.

House Democrats accused the president of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. A full House vote on impeachment could occur as early as next week.