Rep. Al Green, a Texas Democrat and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, is preparing the articles of impeachment—the first official step in any congressional effort to remove a sitting president.
The articles have little chance of moving forward in the Republican-controlled house, but will likely energize the Democrats’ base.
Green’s case focuses on Trump’s dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the administration’s investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 elections. Trump purportedly pressured Comey earlier in 2017 to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, who was terminated after misrepresenting the content of his conversations with a Russian ambassador.
Democrats contended that Trump’s firing of Comey might have obstructed an ongoing Justice Department investigation, which Green views as an impeachable offense.
“The facts are simple and indisputable. The President fired the FBI Director because the Director was investigating the President’s campaign connections to Russian interference in the Presidential Election,” Green said in a statement Tuesday. “This is obstruction of justice.”
Green did not reveal a timeline regarding his introduction of the articles he is currently drafting, nor did he say whether he has the support of any co-sponsors. California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, another CBC member, has made multiple calls for Trump’s impeachment.
Green is expected to reveal more details regarding his plan at a Wednesday press briefing in the Capitol.
The Hill reported that “Green’s effort comes even as Democratic leaders are treading much more lightly in their approach to the Russia-Trump saga. With Trump’s approval rating underwater—and new details in the Russia probe emerging almost daily—party leaders sense an opportunity to make huge gains at the polls in 2018 and don’t want to overplay their hand. They’ve tamped down any talk of impeachment, calling instead for the creation of an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate the Russia inquiry.”
When asked about impeachment on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “What I’ve said to members [is] the only thing that matters are the facts–the facts and the law. That’s what [an] investigation will reveal to us.”
Green believes that Trump’s actions have been egregious enough to initiate impeachment proceedings.
“This will remain obstruction of justice regardless of the findings of any investigation,” he said.
“Obstruction of justice by the President is the problem,” he added. “Impeachment by Congress is the solution.”
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