Democratic Rep. Al Green of Houston did what no member of Congress has yet to do — formally call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
In a statement issued announcing his intention to call for impeachment Green explained, “President Trump is not above the law. He has committed an impeachable act and must be charged. To do otherwise would cause some Americans to lose respect for, and obedience to, our societal norms.”
On Wednesday morning Green declared that Congress must prove to the country that the laws apply to everyone. Standing on the floor of the House of Representatives, Green said, "This is where I stand. I will not be moved. The president must be impeached."
Green, currently serving his 12th year in Congress, wasn't shy about his reasons for taking this stance. He stated that Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey last week was a blatant attempt to intimidate federal investigators and to obstruct the bureau's investigation into potential connections between Trump associates and the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Rep. Al Green (D-TX) on the House floor calls for President Trump to be impeached pic.twitter.com/yi1oPizkyI— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 17, 2017
This move, coming hot on the heels of reports on Tuesday evening that Comey kept memos detailing his conversations with Trump. So far, we've learned these memos noted some troubling alleged moves by the president, including Trump's requests for Comey to back off of investigating former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn shortly after Flynn stepped down due to undisclosed Russian connections, and Trump's push to have Comey arrest journalists who report based on leaked White House information, according to the New York Times.
While Green isn't the first Democrat to talk impeachment — it's been a popular bit of Democrat congressional fan fiction ever since Trump won the election — he was the first to actually call for it on the House floor. Still, it's unlikely that Green's call for impeachment will go anywhere.
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With Republicans in control of both the House and the Senate it's more likely Republicans will vote for a day of national appreciation for Trump's hair before they'll go anywhere near impeaching him, and impeachment requires a majority vote. And even if the president were to be impeached, impeachment by the House doesn't signify guilt, it only means the president has been charged with a crime. It would take the Senate to convict.
On top of that, the Democratic congressional leadership hasn't shown any inclination to go the impeachment route yet. Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said that it will take a lot of evidence and a real mess to make impeachment seem necessary.
But Green didn't consult with any of the Democratic leaders before making his statement. “This is something I thought I should do as a matter of conscience. I’ll know that I’ve done the right thing,” Green told Buzzfeed. “Whether anything else happens or not, even if the Russia circumstance is not found to be something that we can go forward with, the obstruction of justice can still be an act that would allow for impeachment.”