Rep. Al Green (D-TX) became the first member of Congress to officially read articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on the floor on Wednesday — and the president’s Twitter account is at the center of Trump’s alleged “crimes and misdemeanors.”
Green’s proposal is going nowhere, given that Republicans control the House and Senate and even Democrats have been quick to ridicule the idea that Trump should be impeached anytime soon.
Green read the articles of impeachment on the House floor but did not formally introduce them. He told Vox he wanted to give members of Congress and the public “an opportunity to read them” before a vote.
“I want my colleagues to read this and be informed,” he said. (The Washington Post reported that pressure from Democratic leadership may have led Green to not formally introduce the plan; Green disputed that in our interview, saying he never intended to formally file the resolution today.)
In a 15-page document, which was provided to Vox and can be read in full below, Green says the president should be impeached for tweeting “disparaging” remarks about NFL players, Puerto Ricans, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and President Barack Obama. Green’s articles of impeachment do not mention Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, and they do not try to mount the case that the president has committed obstruction of justice or any other crime.
Indeed, Green makes clear that he doesn’t believe the Constitution requires “the commission of a crime” for a president to be impeached. Rather, he says, the “high crimes and misdemeanors” referred to in Article II, Section IV consist of actions “which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political.”
“The Constitution does not required a crime to be committed for a president to be impeached,” Green told me. “If we had a president who insisted Hitler was right … we would impeach that president even if he was exercising free speech that he has every right to exercise.”
Among the “high crimes” Trump has committed, Green charges, are falsely claiming President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, which amounted to “engendering racial antipathy”; vowing to ban transgender people from the military, which “incited bigotry”; and calling NFL players “sons of dogs” by calling them “sons of bitches.”