HOUSTON -- Democratic Rep. Al Green, one of the most vocal advocates for impeachment, complained Thursday that his colleagues' latest resolution establishing that process didn't include accusations of discrimination against President Trump.
The House Judiciary Committee voted earlier to essentially formalize an impeachment investigation. But with committee Democrats largely focused on allegations of obstruction of justice and other issues, Texas Rep. Green lamented it doesn't go far enough.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction, but I was disappointed that they didn’t cover some other aspects of impeachment, especially those that deal with invidious discrimination,” Green told Fox News, on the sidelines of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate on Thursday night in Houston.
Green was the first Democrat to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump on the House floor in 2017. He has repeatedly introduced articles since, and the House has repeatedly voted against passage.
“All of the articles that I’ve actually called to the attention of the House that we have voted on were articles that have dealt with discrimination emanating from the presidency,” he said, referring to the president’s comments referring to “sh--hole countries,” and his rhetoric surrounding the riots in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.
“When the president said there were very fine people – that was not an appropriate thing to do because of the way that impacts other persons in society and cause them to conclude that maybe they can do things they shouldn’t,” Green said.
Green stopped short of likening Trump to recent mass shooters who have used violent and hateful rhetoric, saying, “You can’t draw a line between Trump and a shooter…but he did use language very similar.”
More than half of House Democrats support an impeachment inquiry—including 17 members of the Judiciary Committee.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has long expressed skepticism about impeachment, urging Democrats to focus on their legislative agenda instead.
But when asked by Fox News this week if she supported committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Pelosi said: “Yes, I do.”
“I think you should characterize it for what it is, it’s a continuation of what we have been doing,” she said. “You know, we all work together on these things.”
The committee’s move to intensify its impeachment investigation comes after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Mueller determined there was not evidence sufficient to charge anyone associated with the Trump campaign with criminal conspiracy to coordinate with the Russian government during the 2016 election—the initial basis for the probe. But Democrats have turned to other issues including Trump’s finances and alleged obstruction of justice.
“All those things are on the table obviously, but they did not put invidious discrimination on the table,” Green said, adding that he “absolutely” believes it should be included.
Meanwhile, from the White House Friday morning, the president questioned how impeachment could even be an option, touting his record.
“How do you impeach a President who has helped create perhaps the greatest economy in the history of our Country? All time best unemployment numbers, especially for Blacks, Hispanics, Asians & Women. More people working today than ever before,” he tweeted. “Rebuilt Military & Choice for Vets. Became Number 1 in World & Independent in Energy.”
“Will soon have record number of Judges, 2 SC Justices,” he continued. “Done more than any President in first 2 1/2 years despite phony & fraudulent Witch Hunt illegally led against him. WIN on Mueller Report, Mueller Testimony & James Comey IG Report, which showed him to be a Disgraced & Dirty Cop.”
He added: “Republicans have unified like never before. You don’t impeach Presidents for doing a good (great!) job. No Obstruction, No Collusion, only treasonous crimes committed by the other side, and led by the Democrats. Sad!”