UPDATE — 12/6, 2:08 p.m. EST: A resolution brought by Rep. Al Green (R-Texas) calling for the impeachment of President Trump was overwhelmingly defeated in the House Wednesday, with Democratic leadership voting against the measure.
A joint statement by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Whip Steny Hoyer read: “Right now, Congressional committees continue to be deeply engaged in investigations into the President’s actions both before and after his inauguration. . . . Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment.”
A handful of House Democrats brought five articles of impeachment against Donald Trump on Wednesday, Nov. 15, accusing the president of obstruction of justice and other constitutional violations.
The push for impeachment stems from concerns over President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, which lawmakers are convinced was done in efforts to delay an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The impeachment articles also include a claim Trump accepted, without congressional consent, emoluments from foreign states and has undermined freedom of the press and the federal court system.
Texas Democratic Congressman Al Green had introduced impeachment articles of his own in October on the basis that current racial and ethnic divisions in America are the result of Trump’s divisive rhetoric
“[Trump] has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute onto the presidency, has betrayed his trust as president to the manifest injury of the people of the United States of America and as a result is unfit to be president,” Green said. “He warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office.”
Moving toward the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats may have the upper hand politically. With a less than popular president, more than 20 House GOP retirements, approximately 61 House Republican seats considered “toss ups” and pending articles of impeachment, Democrats could have a substantial advantage.
“I think the Democratic base needs to be activated. The Democratic base needs to know there are members of Congress willing to stand up against this president,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). “We have taken this action because of great concerns for the country and our Constitution and our national security and our democracy.”
The Republican National Committee has responded to the impeachment move by Democrats, calling it a “baseless radical effort”, and claiming it will not distract the president and his administration from its conservative agenda.
[The Hill] [NBC News] [Texas Tribune] [Photo courtesy Kevin Dietsch/UPI]