Impeachment effort targeting President Trump defeated in House
WASHINGTON – The House voted to kill a measure seeking to impeach President Donald Trump – the first vote on such a measure since Democrats took the majority and since the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The 332-95 vote included a majority of Democrats voting along with Republicans to kill the measure – a win for conservatives and the president, who touted the effort’s failure on Twitter. But the 95 Democrats who voted against casting aside the measure shows there has been an increase in support for taking up the question.
The articles, included in a resolution by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, were filed Tuesday evening and declare that Trump is “unfit to be president, unfit to represent the American values of decency and morality, respectability and civility, honesty and propriety, reputability and integrity.”
The vote forced Democrats to take on impeachment and go on the record on whether they support taking it up in the House after months of speculation over how Democrats would respond to the findings outlined in Mueller’s report.
Trump highlighted the push and its failure in a series of posts to Twitter, where he appeared to characterize the vote as the definitive end of any possible impeachment effort or inquiry.
“Impeachment of your President, who has led the Greatest Economic BOOM in the history of our Country, the best job numbers, biggest tax reduction, rebuilt military and much more, is now OVER,” Trump said in a pair of tweets. “This should never be allowed to happen to another President of the United States again!”
Many had expected lawmakers to get around the full vote on impeachment by either referring the resolution to the House Judiciary Committee, where impeachment proceeding would have to start, or simply tabling the measure – effectively killing it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier Wednesday that she doesn’t support the effort. For months, she has tried to tamp down talk of impeachment by taking a methodical approach through investigations in Democrat-controlled committees.
“With all the respect in the world for him (Rep. Green), we have six committees that are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice and the rest,” Pelosi said Wednesday afternoon. “That is the serious path we are on.”
Pelosi cautioned that Trump’s attacks and the resulting reaction from Congress were aimed to simply distract everyone.
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“We cannot buy into his fog that he wants to create over everything,” she said. “You have to give him credit, he’s a great distractor, and that’s what this is about.”
Green has sought to bring articles of impeachment for a vote on the floor twice before, but both times lawmakers, including Democrats, voted to table the measure. In December 2017, 58 Democrats voted against killing the measure, and in January 2018, 66 Democrats voted against doing so.
Wednesday’s vote included 95 Democrats voting against the effort to kill the resolution, which was the largest showing thus far.
But since both the earlier votes, Mueller has completed his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and released a scathing report that did not absolve the president of obstructing justice. With the report came a large batch of Democratic lawmakers who voiced support for launching an impeachment inquiry, a group that has continued to grow over the months since the report’s release in April.
Green announced his resolution moments after the House voted to condemn Trump’s attacks on four congresswomen known as “The Squad,” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. He touched on Trump’s attacks when he said the lawmakers should “go back” to where they came from, calling the comments racist and a reason to oust Trump from office.
“President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimatized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color,” Green said when announcing his resolution. “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.”
Read a copy of the impeachment resolution here.