The first effort to impeach Donald Trump failed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Yahoo News is reporting.
As expected, the effort, led by Texas Democrat Al Green, went exactly nowhere when called for a vote. Specifically, after Green read the articles of impeachment, the House voted 364-58 to “table” the impeachment vote. That vote essentially kills Green’s effort, although it leaves open the possibility of further articles of impeachment being introduced into the House at a later date(s).
Green’s efforts stemmed from the president’s policies and actions that he (Green) said were rooted in bigotry and racism. He pointed to Trump’s recent sharing of anti-Muslim videos (which originated from European white supremacist groups), as well as his blaming “both sides” for the deadly violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacist rally.
To have any hope of passing in the House, the impeachment vote would have required a “Yes” vote from every House Democrat, as well as over a dozen House Republicans, in order to pass. Even if that had happened, the impeachment vote would have faced even longer odds in the Senate. According to the Constitution, the Senate would have had to vote by a two-thirds majority in order to remove Trump from office. Such a vote would have required a “Yes” vote from every Democrat and almost two dozen Senate Republicans.
Texas Democrat Al Green is calling for a House vote this afternoon on two articles of impeachment against President Trump. https://t.co/aaWtMSh6Kl
— NPR (@NPR) December 6, 2017
Clearly, Green’s effort lacked the support of even other Democrats.
In fact, Democratic Congressional leaders have been reticent about pursuing impeachment – at least, at this time.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, for example, both issued a joint statement calling for patience. While admitting that there are “legitimate questions” about Trump’s fitness for office, impeachment is, at this time, premature.
Specifically, Democrats want to wait until special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible ties with the Russians has played out. Dan Kildee, of Michigan, said that no impeachment vote should be considered until Mueller’s investigation is complete.
“We ought to let Mr. Mueller complete his full investigation rather than engage in what would essentially be a public relations stunt. This is a serious thing. It ought not to be done on a whim.”
Green, for his part, said that he is open to introducing further articles of impeachment in the future.
Only twice in U.S. history has the House of Representatives voted to impeach a president. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 over a series of political appointments that his opponents believed were illegal. Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 over alleged crimes related to his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky. Neither man was removed from office after their trials in the Senate.