A House Democrat from Texas is ready to take steps in the impeachment process against President Donald Trump.
Rep. Al Green in May became the first congressman to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment on the House floor. As a result, he received threats of lynching and other messages filled with violence and racial slurs.
Not backing down, he has now stated that he is preparing the articles of impeachment needed to begin the process. He will reportedly make a formal announcement sometime on Wednesday.
According to Green, Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey amid an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia was unconstitutional.
“The facts are simple and indisputable,” Green said Tuesday night. “The president fired the FBI director because the director was investigating the president’s campaign connections to Russian interference in the presidential election.”
Comey’s abrupt firing cast further suspicion — from Democrats and Republicans alike — over the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Comey is the second FBI director to ever be removed from the position. The move by the president prompted members of both parties to call for an independent investigator to handle the Russia scandal.
Comey is set to testify before Congress on Thursday. But according to Green, Comey’s dismissal was unconstitutional regardless of what his testimony reveals.
“This is obstruction of justice,” he said Tuesday. “This will continue to be obstruction of justice regardless of testimony given by Mr. James Comey. This will remain obstruction of justice regardless of the findings of any investigation.”
While the Russia investigation has raised eyebrows, other Democrats have not been quick to get on board with calls for impeachment. Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on ABC’s “The View” was hesitant to use the word “impeachment.”
“When that word comes up I always say to my colleagues in the Congress, my constituents, and people across the country what I said before: anything you do has to be based on data, evidence, facts,” she said. “So you can speculate but it’s got to be the law and the facts and how they match up.”
Pelosi reiterated this stance on Tuesday, appearing on CNN’s “New Day,” at which time she said “the only thing that matters are the facts — the facts and the law.”
But according to Green, Trump has already violated the law, and his actions have demanded action.
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters last month said that Democrats should not “be afraid to use the word impeachment.”
But her bold stance has been met with criticism.
“This president is one that I have focused on in ways that some people say, ‘oh my god,’ she said the word impeachment,’ ‘oh my goodness it’s too soon to say that,’” Waters said.
In initially announcing his intention to begin impeachment proceedings Green said his statement came with “a heavy heart” and “a sense of responsibility and duty to this country,” and “not for political purposes.”
“I do it because, Mr. Speaker, there is a belief in this country that no one is above the law, and that includes the President of the United States of America,” Green said in May.
Also around that time, Green told the Guardian that taking such a stance is “not too soon.”
“When the act is committed, from that point forward the impeachment can begin at any moment,” Green told the publication. “So the president committed an impeachable act when he fired the FBI director who was investigating him. That’s pretty strong evidence.”
Green received disturbing phone calls following his initial call to impeach the president.
“Hey, Al Green, we got an impeachment for you. It’s gonna be yours. Was actually gonna give you a short trial before we hang your n***** ass,” one voicemail said.
“You ain’t gonna impeach nobody, you f****** n*****,” said another message. “Try it, and we’ll lynch all you f****** n******. You’ll be hanging from a tree. I didn’t see anybody calling for the impeachment of your n***** Obama when he was born in Kenya. He’s not even an American. So f*** you, n*****.”
To actually impeach a president is a difficult legal process. Only two presidents have been impeached in U.S. history: Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Johnson and Clinton were both acquitted by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned after facing almost inevitable impeachment, and he was later pardoned by President Gerald Ford.
According to an analysis by Politico, the impeachment process almost always begins as a political move.
“Sinking approval ratings are the prerequisite, telling Trump’s opponents that going after him would be more political opportunity than political risk,” Politico notes.
According to Gallup, Trump’s approval rating for the week of May 29 — June 4 is at 38 percent. Based on Gallup’s numbers, 38 percent has been Trump’s lowest average weekly rating since he took office in January. The data also shows that Trump has not seen an approval rating above 45 percent — which he held during his first week in office.
RealClearPolitics (RCP), which averages polling results from numerous outlets, pegs Trump’s approval rating at 39.9 percent. Data includes numbers from Gallup, Reuters/Ipsos, Quinnipiac and others.