A Texas congressman slammed his fellow Democrats Wednesday after “not one person of color” was called as an expert to testify during the first day of impeachment hearings conducted by the House Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, rebuked his colleagues in a speech on the House floor before the committee hearing began. Three legal scholars later testified at the request of Democrats in the first Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry hearing. Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, was the sole witness called by the GOP.
“I rise because I love my country, but I also rise today with heartfelt regrets. It hurts my heart, Mr. Speaker, to see the Judiciary Committee hearing experts on the topic of impeachment — one of the seminal issues of this Congress — hearing experts... and not one person of color among the experts,” Green told the House floor.
“What subliminal message are we sending to the world when we have experts but not one person of color? Are we saying that there are no people of color who are experts on this topic of impeachment?” Green continued. He claimed the House committee was taking advantage of black voters without affording them equal representation in the impeachment process.
“I refuse to be ignored and taken for granted. I came here to represent the people who are ignored and taken for granted. Not one person of color among the constitutional scholars,” he said. “It seems that there’s a desire among some to have the output of people of color without input from the people of color.”
“I rise today to say that this is not about Democrats. It’s not about Republicans. It’s about fairness,” Green said. “It’s about whether or not we have matured to the point in this country where we’re going to treat all people equally.”
Turley argued against impeaching President Trump. Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan, Harvard Law professor and Bloomberg columnist Noah Feldman and University of North Carolina Law professor Michael Gerhardt were called by Democrats on the committee, and they said Trump's actions were impeachable.
Green’s speech comes a day after a leading progressive activist lamented that only white candidates will grace the upcoming Democratic presidential debate stage following Sen. Kamala Harris’s departure from the 2020 race.
"It's a sad state of affairs to have six white candidates on stage, many of whom don't necessarily speak with black women, who are the powerhouse voters -- and we're at this moment where we went from the most diverse set of candidates in the history -- certainly in my lifetime -- to an all-white stage," Aimee Allison told MSNBC on Tuesday.
Allison is the founder and president of She the People, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring “that women of color will never be taken for granted again in elections."
Fox News' Sam Dorman and Brian Flood contributed to this report.