Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely

Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely

During a press conference at his office in Houston, Green didn't predict a time frame for when the House might send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate but backed Democratic leaders' calls for a "fair" trial that allows for calling witnesses and presenting evidence.

"I want to say clearly that we do have to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Currently the Senate is on trial itself because people are watching to see whether there will be a fair trial or a fake trial," Green said.

But he argued that Democrats should at a minimum make demands for how an impeachment trial would be conducted, even if Senate Republicans press forward without reaching any compromise with Democrats.

ADVERTISEMENT
"We cannot allow the trial to go forward without at least demanding a fair trial," Green said. "If the Senate chooses to go forward with a fake trial, then there will be another trial in November. This is the trial that takes place in the court of public opinion where the people of this country, the citizens, will vote. And they will make a determination as to whether or not the Senate behaved appropriately."

Key House committee chairs on Sunday indicated that Pelosi's hold on the articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine would not be indefinite.

"All I know at this point is that the Speaker has said, tell us what the rules are and we'll be happy to transmit. We're not withholding simply because we have them under our control. We just want to know what the rules of the game are," House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOvernight Health Care: White House projects grim death toll from coronavirus | Trump warns of 'painful' weeks ahead | US surpasses China in official virus deaths | CDC says 25 percent of cases never show symptoms Democrats, Trump set to battle over implementing T relief bill Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' MORE (D-Calif.), who like Green has long advocated for Trump's impeachment, said on MSNBC's "Kasie DC."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' Democrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Trump fires intelligence community watchdog who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint MORE (D-Calif.) argued that the hold on the two articles of impeachment has served to put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Progressive group knocks McConnell for talking judicial picks during coronavirus Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (R-Ky.) over his public coordination with the White House, even though Republicans have refused to budge on Democrats' demands over the last few weeks.

"One success that this has already had is flushing out McConnell. Showing that he is working in cahoots with the president, that he has made himself an active participant in the president's cover-up. So, the American people needed to see that and now they do," Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union."

ADVERTISEMENT
Some liberal Democrats in recent weeks have expressed openness to holding on to the articles of impeachment indefinitely, thereby preventing Trump from securing a swift acquittal by Senate Republicans.

Rep. Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettTexas House Dems ask governor to issue stay-at-home order Texas lawmakers call for investigation into CDC's handling of released coronavirus patient in San Antonio Ocasio-Cortez knocks Pence: 'Utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response' MORE (D-Texas) said on "CNN Newsroom" late last week that he would back Pelosi if she refused to send over the articles at all if Senate Republicans won't agree to calling witnesses.

"I would certainly support her in doing that," Doggett said. "So I think she could rightly say, we have done our job under the Constitution, the ultimate jurors will be the American people. They should consider what we've done."

"I would be happiest with a fair and impartial trial in accordance with the Constitution and the oath that these senators take. That's my strong first preference. But short of that, I don't think it helps to send over the articles if they're not going to get fair and full consideration," Doggett added.

Green also appeared to try to clarify comments he made on MSNBC last week in which he told host Chris Hayes that "the genesis of impeachment, to be very candid with you, was when the president was running for office" in response to attacks from Republicans who argue that Democrats have wanted to impeach Trump from the start.

Republicans quickly seized on Green's comments, with former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdySunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for another week fighting the coronavirus, seek to curb fallout GOP lawmaker shows off AR-15 in office, challenges Biden to 'come and take it' Sunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses MORE (R-S.C.) telling Fox News that "we should buy him time during the Super Bowl so he just keeps talking."

Green at his Monday press conference played clips of GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets Justice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Trump says he's considering restricting travel to coronavirus 'hot spots' MORE (S.C.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves Florida sheriff asks for new leads in disappearance of Carole Baskin's former husband after Netflix's 'Tiger King' drops MORE (Texas) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans MORE (Utah) blasting Trump during the 2016 campaign and calling the then-candidate "crazy," a "pathological liar" and a "con man," respectively. 

Green said that the impeachment push began to take root during the 2016 campaign because of Trump's actions. 

"The president's behavior has not changed. His recidivism simply continues. He is a chronic habitual recidivist and that is why people don't trust him. This is also why this was the genesis of why people started to think that there should be some sort of impeachment," Green said, adding that "everything that we've sought to do to impeach the president occurred after the election."

Green previously forced three House floor votes in 2017, 2018 and 2019 on articles of impeachment against Trump that primarily accused Trump of inflaming racial tensions. All three efforts were unsuccessful.

Green's articles of impeachment in July came after Trump attacked freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Trump blasts Schumer over 'incorrect sound bites' on coronavirus Trump warns against 'partisan investigations' after Pelosi establishes select committee on virus response MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Pressley, Tlaib introduce bill providing .5B in emergency grants for the homeless MORE (D-Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Undocumented aliens should stay away as COVID-19 rages in the US The Southern Poverty Law Center and yesterday's wars MORE (D-Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Pressley experiencing flu-like symptoms, being tested for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill MORE (D-Mass.) and urged them to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
 
All four Democrats are U.S. citizens, and three were born in the United States.

The other articles of impeachment previously presented by Green cited, among other controversies, Trump calling Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations "shithole countries," deriding African American football players for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and offering an equivocating response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.