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.

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"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 WatersSupreme Court rulings reignite Trump oversight wars in Congress On The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress 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 SchiffStone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to reopening schools 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 McConnellSara Gideon wins Democratic race to challenge Susan Collins Schumer pushes for elimination of SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus relief bill Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel 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."

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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 DoggettGilead sets price for five-day coronavirus treatment at ,120 The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Mark Takano says Congress must extend worker benefits expiring in July; WHO reports record spike in global cases Exclusive investigation on the coronavirus pandemic: Where was Congress? 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 GowdyMore than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America 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: 'We don't have a Dr. Fauci problem' Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K MORE (S.C.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMJ Hegar wins Democratic battle to challenge John Cornyn The Hill's Campaign Report: Key races take shape in Alabama, Texas, Maine 5 key races to watch on Tuesday MORE (Texas) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyIllinois House Republican leader won't attend GOP convention in Florida: 'It's not going to be a safe environment' Judge seeks copy of order commuting Roger Stone sentence Top Mueller prosecutor: 'We could have done more' in Russia investigation 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-CortezIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Ocasio-Cortez fires back after Trump says she's 'not talented in many ways' Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Democrats see victory in Trump culture war The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue MORE (D-Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Analysis: 23 million families could face eviction by October due to pandemic Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' MORE (D-Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue 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.