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Trump impeachment vote shot down as majority of House Democrats join Republicans to kill resolution

The House of Representatives has tabled Al Green's articles of impeachment

Emily Shugerman
New York
Wednesday 06 December 2017 20:10 GMT
US Representative Al Green presents articles of impeachment against Donald Trump

The US House of Representatives has shot down the first formal attempt to impeach President Donald Trump.

A bipartisan majority of legislators voted to "table," or kill, the articles of impeachment introduced by Representative Al Green of Texas. One hundred and twenty-seven of the 194 Democrats in the House voted to table the resolution.

Mr Green forced a vote on the articles on Wednesday, claiming Mr Trump’s actions in office have amounted to “high misdemeanours,” if not crimes. The Representative claimed these misdemeanours stem from Mr Trump’s “bigotry, hatred and hostility”.

Announcing his motion in a letter to his House colleagues, Mr Green wrote: “The question isn’t whether we have a bigot as President, the question is: What are we going to do about it?”

“The answer is: Impeachment for high misdemeanours, which need not be a crime,” he concluded.

Even if it made it to the House floor, Mr Green's resolution was widely expected to fail a vote in the Republican-controlled body. Impeachment requires a majority vote in the House and a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which is also controlled by Republicans.

Mr Green initially filed his articles of impeachment in October, but was convinced to drop the effort by his fellow Democrats. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer both discouraged Democrats from supporting Mr Green's latest attempt, saying in a rare joint statement that "now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment".

The Democratic leaders acknowledged that Mr Trump had "made statements and taken actions that are beyond the pale for most Americans". But they urged legislators to focus on policy issues, such as the Republican tax plan currently before them.

“Congress faces a vast set of urgent, overdue priorities for the American people," they said. "Democrats are firmly focused on taking real, effective steps to improve the lives of hard-working Americans and defeating Republicans’ cruel barrage of attacks on the middle class."

Trump impeachment vote 'will take place week of December 4'

Mr Green's updated articles of impeachment accuse Mr Trump of associating himself with white supremacy and inciting hate and hostility "on the basis of race, national origin, religion, gender, or sexual orientation".

The Representative listed several examples of this behaviour, from Mr Trump's response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville to his proposed Muslim travel ban. He also cited Mr Trump's recirculation of several Islamophobic videos – at least one of which has been debunked as fake.

Reading his articles of impeachment aloud on the House floor on Wednesday, Mr Green said the President had "sown discord among the people of the United States," and brought "contempt, ridicule, disgrace and disrepute" on his office.

"Therefore, Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States, is unfit to be President, warrants impeachment, trial, and removal from office," he said.

Democratic Representative Steve Cohen has also filed articles of impeachment against Mr Trump, though they have yet to be put to a vote. The articles accuse Mr Trump of undermining the independence of the judiciary and the press, and obstructing justice by firing his FBI director.

White House spokesperson Raj Shah called the impeachment efforts a "disappointing" move by "extremists in Congress".

"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," he said.

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