- The measure drew the support of 58 House Democrats.
House Democrats overwhelmingly joined Republicans on Wednesday to defeat an attempt to impeach President Donald Trump. But 58 Democrats supported the bid to consider impeachment over the objections of House Democratic leaders, who viewed the measure as a distraction in a Republican-controlled Congress.
The motion to sideline the measure — killing the effort — was approved 364-58, with four Democrats voting present.
The vote was forced by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who introduced articles of impeachment describing Trump as a bigot who incites hate and has demeaned the presidency.
“Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office,” Green said on the House floor as he introduced the articles.
But Green, a seven-term, Houston-area lawmaker, said his conscience compelled him to push forward with the measure, even though he acknowledged he was unlikely to succeed.
“Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment,” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said in a joint statement, shortly after Green introduced his articles of impeachment.
The White House quickly dismissed the effort, labeling Green and his allies “extremists.”
“It’s disappointing that extremists in Congress still refuse to accept the President’s decisive victory in last year’s election,” spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. “Their time would be better spent focusing on tax relief for American families and businesses, and working to fund our troops and veterans through the holiday season rather than threaten a government shutdown.”
Pelosi and her top allies urged Democrats to help bottle up the measure during a closed-door caucus meeting on Wednesday morning.
But Green offered the proposal as a so-called privileged motion, a procedural tactic that allows a single member to force a vote. He had flirted with forcing a vote on articles of impeachment in October but backed away amid pressure from Democratic leaders at the time. Republican leaders then moved to “table” the motion, a procedural step to bottle it up indefinitely.
Green’s articles of impeachment cite Trump’s remarks in the aftermath of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, as well as his attacks on Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) and his repeated criticism of NFL players who have protested abuses by police officers by kneeling during the national anthem.
“Friends, whether we like it or not, we now have a bigot in the White House who incites hatred and hostility,” he wrote in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday.
Source: Kyle Cheney, www.politico.com/story/2017/12/06/trump-impeachment-vote-fail-282888