The House voted earlier this month to table a resolution by Texas Rep. Al Green to impeach President Donald Trump.
A majority of Democrats joined Republicans in voting to table Green’s measure, which the outspoken representative based on Trump’s recent racist remarks against four freshmen congresswomen of color. The vote was 332-95, with 137 Democrats siding with 194 Republicans.
Ninety-five Democrats (who had previously called for Trump’s impeachment or an inquiry) voted against the move to table the measure, and in doing so, are keeping their options open. ABC News reported that notable progressives, including Chairmen Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee and Jim McGovern of the Rules Committee, voted ‘no’ against the effort, along with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Hispanic Caucus, some of the strongest voices for impeachment in Congress.
“It’s time to step up and do something about this president,” Green said, echoing comments he’d made a year ago to reporters and publishers of the Black Press of America.
Earlier, Green introduced articles of impeachment in the form of a privileged resolution that required the House to take up the measure within two legislative days.
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a majority of Democrats have opposed impeachment because they said the Republican-led Senate would never convict Trump. They also fear that a failed conviction in the Senate would only help Trump’s re-election campaign, something several experts agree with.
“At this point in time, impeachment is a terrible idea and could potentially play into Trump’s own narrative,” said David Pring-Mill, a consultant to startups and political causes.
“Victimizers sometimes play the role of the victim in order to justify their own abusive behavior, reframe perceptions, establish false equivalence, energize advantageous divisions, and intensify or gain support,” Pring-Mill said.
Further, any Democratic victory would ring hollow to Trump’s supporters, who would retreat further into their belief that elites have stacked the deck against them out of disregard or disdain, Pring-Mill said.
Impeachment is often spoken of for political reasons, said Matt C. Pinsker, an adjunct professor of Homeland Security and Criminal Justice at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“Unlike the criminal justice system which requires a burden of proof and due process, impeachment is a political maneuver and there is no such thing as malpractice for Congress,” Pinsker said.
Steven Isaac Azizi, a senior partner at Miracle Mile Law Group, said the Democratic majority is hesitant for a number of reasons to impeach the president.
“I believe the foremost reason is that congress is rejecting the idea is because of the sheer reputational damage it would instill in the international world’s eyes and another maybe the ignition of pro-Trump supporters,” Azizi said.
“These are without a doubt, the cons of any potential impeachment. On the other hand, a potential pro to a Trump impeachment would be the riddance of the rhetoric that he brings along with him,” Azizi said. “In any event, impeachment would be accompanied by severe consequences that would reverberate around the whole world,” he said.
Rep. Green told his colleagues that they should look in the mirror.
“If you did what the president has done, you would be punished. What we’ve done so far doesn’t fine him, and it does not remove him from his job,” Green said. “You would lose your jobs. The president cannot be above the law,” he said.
Unmoved, Trump doubled down on his Twitter comments about the congresswomen he offended by saying they should go back where they came from.
“If they don’t want to lover our country, if they don’t want to fight for our country, they can leave. I’ll never change on that,” Trump told reporters.