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 WatersCompanies start responding to pressure to bolster minority representation Democratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Safeguarding US elections by sanctioning Russian sovereign debt 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 SchiffIn our 'Bizarro World' of 2020 politics, the left takes a wrong turn Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox Hillicon Valley: DOJ accuses Russian hackers of targeting 2018 Olympics, French elections | Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats | House Democrats slam FCC over 'blatant attempt to help' Trump 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 McConnellMcConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote Democrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation GOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg 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 DoggettCongress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Trump order on drug prices faces long road to finish line 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: Election integrity dominates as Nov. 3 nears Tim Scott invokes Breonna Taylor, George Floyd in Trump convention speech Sunday shows preview: Republicans gear up for national convention, USPS debate continues in Washington 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 GrahamGOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg Murkowski predicts Barrett won't overturn Roe v. Wade Biden seeks to close any path for Trump win in race's final days MORE (S.C.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP clears key hurdle on Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, setting up Monday confirmation Texas and North Carolina: Democrats on the verge? Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE (Texas) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds Will anyone from the left realize why Trump won — again? Ratings drop to 55M for final Trump-Biden debate 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-CortezOcasio-Cortez: 'Plenty of people without college degrees could run this country better than Trump' Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Ocasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream MORE (D-Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates Trump says he doesn't actually want Whitmer, Biden and Obama to be locked up despite chants MORE (D-Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates Democrats unveil bill to reduce police violence against people with mental illness 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.