Texas Democrat Representative Al Green — who has already forced two impeachment votes against Donald Trump — plans to file articles of impeachment against the president again, citing the Virginia race controversy and claiming that the Trump administration inspires bigotry.
As the Hill reports, Green — who filed articles of impeachment against Trump in December of 2017 and again in January of 2018 — announced Thursday that he plans to file articles of impeachment against the president again, although he was unclear as to when.
The Ongoing Virginia Race Controversy
In recent weeks, photos have come to light of two Virginia politicians — Governor Ralph Northam, and Attorney General Mark Herring — wearing blackface years ago. What’s more, according to the New York Times, a third Virginia politician — State Senator Thomas K. Norment Jr. — was the managing editor of the 1968 Virginia Military Institute yearbook, one which included racial slurs and images of students in blackface.
The New YorkTimes calls the developing situation a “political crisis,” sentiments echoed by civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who warned of a pending “constitutional crisis” in Virginia over the issue, according to Buzzfeed News.
Inspired By Trump?
As far as Green is concerned, the fact that none of the Virginia officials caught up in the scandal are willing to even consider resigning can be traced back to bigotry inspired by President Donald Trump. For that reason, says Green, Trump must be impeached.
“[The blackface scandal] is but a symptom of a greater syndrome that currently plagues our country as a result of not acting on President Trump’s bigotry.”
Is Bigotry An Impeachable Offense?
The Constitution gives members of Congress broad powers to impeach the president for any reason, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a criminal offense. Indeed, the first American president to be impeached — Andrew Johnson, in 1868 — was impeached for procedural and political reasons, not criminal ones.
Further, the Constitution makes the process relatively easy: a member must simply file articles of impeachment on the floor of the House, and members will then vote on it. If a simple majority vote yes, then the president will be tried in the Senate, and may face removal from office.
However, impeachment isn’t to be taken lightly, and indeed, only twice in American history has a vote to impeach a president passed the House: once in the case of Johnson, and a second time in the case of Bill Clinton, in 1998. Neither man was convicted in the Senate, and both served out their terms as president.
An Unwilling House
Both of Green’s previous attempts at impeaching Trump have failed, getting only a few dozen votes each time. This third attempt is likely to go nowhere as well. Though now controlled by Democrats, House leaders have consistently downplayed talk of impeaching Trump — at least until the Mueller investigation has run its course. Democratic Congressional leaders, such as Nancy Pelosi, have instead chosen to focus on their legislative agenda, rather than on impeachment.