Texas Demo­crat to draft ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment

The Washington Times Daily - - FROM PAGE ONE - BY TOM HOW­ELL JR. Stephen Dinan con­trib­uted to this re­port.

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.”

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