A liberal Texas congressman who has repeatedly called for removing the president from office is forcing an up or down vote Wednesday in the House on impeaching President Trump.
“As I have said before, this is not about Democrats, it is about democracy,” Democratic Rep. Al Green wrote in a memo to his colleagues on the effort. “It is not about Republicans, it is about the fate of our Republic. May everyone vote their conscience knowing that history will judge us all.”
As Conservative Tribune reports, impeachment of a sitting president requires 50 percent of the House of Representatives to vote for it. It’s only been tried twice — and both times, the necessary two-thirds vote for conviction failed in the Senate.
The first time, radical Republicans impeached the intransigent and alcoholic Andrew Johnson for violating a minor patronage law. That, needless to say, couldn’t get two-thirds of the vote in the upper chamber. The second time, Bill Clinton committed an actual crime but still got let off the hook (although 20 years later, liberals would like you to know that they’re very, very sorry about that).
The one thing these two proceedings had in common was that both of these people actually did something. A third person who almost certainly would have been impeached — Richard Milhous Nixon — had the good sense to get his butt back to San Clemente before a vote could take place. The point is, all of these men did something that prompted a vote.
On Wednesday, Democrat Rep. Al Green of Texas will introduce articles of impeachment against one Donald J. Trump, according to the Washington Examiner. Why, you may ask? Well, according to a memo released by Green on Tuesday, why the heck not?
“A common misconception associated with impeachment proceedings is that an impeachable offense must be explicitly illegal,” Green’s memo read.
“This is not the case. The impeachment process is political in nature, not criminal. As laid out in Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution, grounds for impeachment include ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ Upon first glance, this might seem to imply both felony offenses and less severe misdemeanor offenses.
“However, this is not the case …. Today, most constitutional law experts recognize that an impeachable offense does not need to be a crime. In fact, since the Constitution’s adoption, less than a third of the impeachments approved by the House have invoked a criminal statute.”
What Green is essentially advocating — aside from being so unconstitutional that it boggles the mind — is treating the impeachment process as a sort of legal coup mechanism. This is an elected official, by the way. To Congress. Who makes laws that affect you and I. I just wanted to impress that fact on you.
While Republicans will table the vote, making it mostly symbolic, Green says he’s doing it to prove a point — namely, that the rule of law doesn’t apply when it doesn’t go your way. Or something.
To their very, very marginal credit, several Democrats tried to talk Green out of one of the most misguided legislative moves in recent decades.
“Three prominent Democrats have asked to meet with me to discuss impeachment,” Green said in a floor speech Tuesday, apparently referring to Dems who have urged him to drop the articles of impeachment. (One of them was apparently Nancy Pelosi, in a rare moment of clarity for the minority leader.)
“I will tell them I refuse to sit on the sidelines while the world is considering one of the great issues of our time,” Green continued. “I will tell them that tomorrow we will bring articles of impeachment to the floor of the Congress of United States of America for a vote.”
Good luck with that. While this may fire up a small segment of the Democratic base — a base which is wholly unconcerned with the rule of law or how the Constitution works — Green’s nonsense idea will get him a boost in name recognition, much in the same vein of how the 1994 Winter Olympics gave Tanya Harding a boost in name recognition. At least, in Green’s case, there’s not a nightstick involved. Yet.
This time it looks like Green is going through with his plan. Five other Democrats have signed onto impeachment articles that were introduced in November. The symbolic vote could help Democrats rile up their base, but their leadership and other members fear that a premature vote to impeach Trump that has no substantial impact could enrage the president’s base ahead of the 2018 midterms.