House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might have (unsurprisingly) given up on the effort to impeach President Donald Trump, but Rep. Al Green of Texas has other plans.
Speaking at a news conference in his office on Tuesday, the eight-term Texas congressman said he would force a floor vote on the issue regardless of Pelosi’s strategy on the matter, as he did last Congress. Despite his intentions and comments, Green insisted they had nothing to do with Pelosi herself, as he criticized Congress members who prioritized “political expediency ahead of moral imperative.”
“This is not about the speaker. It wasn’t about the speaker before she became speaker, and it’s not about the speaker now,” Green said, asked about the possibility of supporting Pelosi’s removal over her sentiment that Trump’s impeachment wasn’t worth it.
Last Congress, Green also forced a floor vote on impeachment. Only 66 Democrats voted against tabling it. On the first day of the new Congress, Rep. Brad Sherman introduced new articles of impeachment against Trump; the only co-sponsor on the resolution so far is Green.
“It’s not about any one person—it’s really not even about the president as much as it is about what he’s doing,” Green insisted. “It’s about his behavior that is harmful to society.”
California Rep. and House Intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff, speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, seemed to also disagree with any Democratic effort to push forward on impeachment without “very graphic” evidence against Trump, particularly because of the GOP’s failing to acknowledge any of Trump’s would-be criminal behavior as president.
“We’ve already seen deeply-concerning evidence of the president’s lack of fitness for office...as well as evidence of criminality on the part of the president [related to] the direction and coordination of an illegal campaign finance scheme,” Schiff said. “I see little to be gained by putting the country through that kind of wrenching experience...the only thing worse than putting the country through the trauma of an impeachment is putting the country through the trauma of a failed impeachment.”
However, Rep. Green rejected this narrative, also previously raised by Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, that impeachment would need support from Republicans to move forward. Green said Democrats should “not wait on people who are not coming,” and that he considers the urgency brought forth by his constituents who want an impeachment.
Green also chided “status quo opinion-makers and opinion-shapers” who aren’t listening to him and other Democrats who want to pursue impeachment.
“I not only speak truth to power,” Green added. “I speak the truth about power.”