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.

"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 WatersThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden address to Congress will dominate busy week Maxine Waters: Judge in Chauvin trial who criticized her was 'angry' GOP, Democrats grapple with post-Chauvin trial world 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 backs Stefanik to replace Cheney Gender politics hound GOP in Cheney drama Senate Intel vows to 'get to the bottom' of 'Havana syndrome' attacks 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 McConnellBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture 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."

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 DoggettBattle lines drawn over Biden's support for vaccine waivers Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states 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 GowdyTrey GowdyPompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy The Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election 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 GrahamLindsey Graham: GOP can't 'move forward without President Trump' House to advance appropriations bills in June, July The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (S.C.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls MORE (Texas) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe American Rescue Plan was a step toward universal basic income Cheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Florida's restrictive voting bill signed into law 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-CortezBattle lines drawn over Biden's support for vaccine waivers Overnight Energy: Update on Biden administration conservation goals | GOP sees opportunity to knock Biden amid rising gas prices | Push for nationwide electric vehicle charging stations The Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSix House Democrats ask Garland to review case of lawyer placed under house arrest over Chevron suit OSHA sends draft emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 to OMB review Imperative that Democrats figure out what went wrong in 2020 MORE (D-Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSchumer works to balance a divided caucus's demands White House raises refugee cap to 62,500 Sharpton eulogizes Daunte Wright: 'Tags of racism' have expired MORE (D-Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyBush testifies before Congress about racist treatment Black birthing people face during childbirth, pregnancy Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say Advocates warn against complacency after Chauvin verdict 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.