Texas Democrat to draft articles of impeachment
Rep. Al Green, a maverick Texas Democrat, said Wednesday he is drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump, alleging that the Republican president broke the law in May and must be held accountable.
Mr. Green accused Mr. Trump of obstructing justice when he fired FBI Director James B. Comey and then suggested he did so because of “this Russia thing,” referring to the bureau’s probe of alleged Russian meddling in last year’s election, and whether the Trump campaign had anything to do with it.
“The remedy for obstructing justice is impeachment,” said Mr. Green, who’s represented his Houston-area district since 2005.
“The firing, coupled with the statement, indicated that the president intended to do what he did,” he said.
Mr. Green said he is drafting and reviewing at least one article of impeachment but has no “acid test” for when he might actually file the documents, saying he wants the public to weigh in first.
Rep. Brad Sherman, California Democrat, said he is in Mr. Green’s corner and weighing his own articles of impeachment, though the pair might join forces down the road.
Democrats have quietly floated the notion of impeachment for weeks, yet Mr. Green has been the most vocal about starting the process less than five months into Mr. Trump’s term.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders are cool to the idea for now, saying they should get all the facts from various probes into Mr. Trump’s ties with Russian actors before they start throwing around “the I-word.”
“A majority of the caucus is of the belief that we ought to allow the investigation to continue to its logical conclusion before making any determination,” Rep. Linda T. Sanchez, California Democrat and vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters on Wednesday.
Impeachment is a prerogative of the House. Lawmakers can pass articles of impeachment by a majority vote. The Senate then holds a trial on the articles, and it takes a twothirds vote to convict and remove an official.
Republicans control both the House and Senate, and are unlikely to pursue impeachment of Mr. Trump, though Mr. Green said there’s a chance if the public demands it.
Only two U.S. presidents — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — have been impeached by the House, though both were acquitted by the Senate. Richard Nixon resigned before the full House could consider articles of impeachment in 1974.
Mr. Comey’s testimony before Congress on Thursday will breathe new life into controversies around Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump repeatedly complained to Mr. Comey of a “cloud” over his administration because of the bureau’s probe into Trump campaign figures’ dealings with Russia and asked that the FBI drop its probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Mr. Comey says in prepared testimony he’ll deliver to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Mr. Green has spoken openly about wanting to impeach Mr. Trump since last month, though Wednesday marked the first time he said he’d put pen to paper to being the process.
He said people are threatening his safety over the push, and that Capitol Police even dispatched two officers to his district for added protection.
“No amount of intimidation will deter me,” he said. “It may enhance my resolve.”