Democratic congressman says 'it will not end if the Senate does not convict'

WASHINGTON — Rep. Al Green, who has been on a “mission” to remove Donald Trump from office, is not optimistic the articles of impeachment unveiled by House Democrats on Tuesday will succeed in a Senate trial, but the Texas Democrat says he still thinks the push to force the president out of the White House won’t end there.

“If the Senate does not convict, that does not mean that it's over,” Green said in an interview with Yahoo News shortly after the articles were unveiled.

“It simply means that for these two charges the president has not been convicted and he is still in office, which means that he is still subject to impeachment for other charges,” he said.

The two articles of impeachment presented by House Democratic leadership are for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to the investigation into whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate a political rival. During hearings leading up to the drafting of the articles of impeachment, Democrats presented witnesses, including Trump administration officials, who alleged the president conditioned aid to Ukraine and a White House meeting on Kyiv mounting an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Trump has maintained his conduct was aboveboard and focused on rooting out corruption.

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, speaks at an "Impeachment Now!" rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 26. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MoveOn Political Action)
Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, speaks at an "Impeachment Now!" rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 26. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MoveOn Political Action)

Green has been pushing for Trump to be impeached since well before the allegations about Ukraine surfaced in September. He became the first Democrat to call for Trump’s impeachment on the House floor in May 2017 shortly after the president fired FBI Director James Comey amid the ongoing investigation into whether Trump’s campaign cooperated with Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Green subsequently introduced articles of impeachment three times for what he described as Trump’s “infusion of bigotry into policy.”

When Green initially brought up the possibility of impeachment, a small number of Democrats supported him. Each time he introduced the articles, the number of supporters in the House grew.

The House Judiciary Committee is set to formally vote on the articles of impeachment this week. Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t scheduled a full House vote on impeachment, but it is expected to take place next week. With the the Democrats 233-to-197 majority in the House, the charges are almost certain to move on to the Senate.

Once impeachment moves to the upper chamber, a two-thirds majority of 67 votes would be required to remove Trump from office, which appears highly unlikely at the moment given that Republicans control the Senate 53-47.

But Green said Trump could still be impeached again even as he predicted these articles will fail.

President Trump listens during a roundtable on school choice in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Washington. (Photo:  Evan Vucci/AP)
Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

On Dec. 4, Green sent a memo to other House members urging them to include Trump’s “racism” in the articles of impeachment. Among other things, Green cited Trump’s reported disparaging comments about migrants, his efforts to halt immigration from Latino and Muslim nations and Trump’s remark that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the violent 2017 white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Va. Green’s concerns were not included in the current articles of impeachment against Trump.

Green suggested this means articles of impeachment focused on Trump’s racial remarks and immigration policies could be introduced in the future if the current charges do not pass the Senate.

“I see that these acts that I have called to their attention ... were not part of the inquiry. They were not a part of the investigation. They were not a part of the debates. They were not a part of the deliberations, and as a result, they have not been considered,” Green said. “Which means they are still ripe for consideration at some point in the future, assuming that the Senate does not convict.”

Green isn’t the only member of Congress who publicly called for broader articles of impeachment. Last week, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the third ranking House Democrat, said he wanted to see some of the allegations outlined in the special counsel’s report from the Russia investigation included in impeachment. Clyburn’s office did not respond to a request for comment after the articles were unveiled.

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., walks to a closed Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Green also suggested Trump’s past behavior shows he may engage in fresh misconduct that could be impeachable. “The president is a recidivist. He doesn’t do things once and done. He does things repeatedly,” Green said of Trump.

As the articles of impeachment were unveiled, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel dismissed them as “a partisan attempt to overthrow a duly elected President and rob voters of the chance to reelect him in 2020." Trump and the White House have similarly attacked Green as being motivated by purely partisan concerns.

Asked if he plans to introduced his own articles of impeachment again, Green suggested he will wait for the current charges to “play out through the Senate.”

“If he’s convicted and removed from office, this would bring this to closure, but if he’s not convicted and is not removed from office, it means that our work is not finished,” Green said. “It will not end if the Senate does not convict.”


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