Rep. Al Green, a Democratic member of Congress from Texas, blasted the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday over the lack of diversity present among the witnesses selected to testify during the latest phase of the House impeachment inquiry, according to The Hill.
Particularly, Green — a vocal opponent of the president — took issue with the lack of a single person of color selected by the committee to testify about the constitutionality of the president’s reported withholding of funds from Ukraine amid his requests that the nation’s president launch investigations into a political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“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? What is the message that we’re sending? Mr. Speaker, if I am wrong, I will apologize, but if the committee is wrong, if the Congress is wrong, what will it do?” Green asked.
Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman, professor of public interest law at Stanford Law School Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina School of Law professor Michael Gerhardt, and professor of public interest law at The George Washington University Law School Jonathan Turley have all been selected by the Judiciary Committee as experts to testify.
Green charged that people of color had been mistreated by both Republicans and Democrats — ignored by one and taken for grated by the other.
“I refuse to be ignored and taken for granted,” Green said, again noting that not one of the constitutional scholars was nonwhite.
The Texas legislator added he believed that some members of the committee had hoped to get the “output” from individuals of color, without first receiving the “input” from them. Green said the committee needed to better work to “balance” all aspects of society as part of the inquiry and he urged the committee to consider diversity in its future decisions.
The third phase of the impeachment inquiry began on Wednesday following the second public phase and the controversial first phase that involved closed-door testimony. Per The Hill, the second phase of the inquiry — led by the House Intelligence Committee — ended with a 300-page document accusing the president of abusing his power in his actions with Ukraine and obstructing the Democrat-led inquiry.
The president on Sunday said he would not participate in the hearings following an invitation by members of the committee, blaming Democrats for scheduling the hearing during the NATO summit in London.