Talk of impeachment had already began to resonate throughout the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest even before the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference got underway last week.
By the end of the week, the sentiment to bring Donald Trump’s presidency to an end had transferred to several of the many sessions held at the conference.
“The people who say, ‘What law did he break? What rule did he break?’ — they are perpetrating upon you a belief that is totally inaccurate,” Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said during a panel discussion, “Impeachment: A Necessary Remedy for Bigotry in Policy.”
“You decide that you are not going to be nice to suspects when you arrest them, you tell police, ‘You don’t have to be nice’ … and ban children on the border of color, you produce a policy that separates them from their parents,” Green said. “Now, this might be debatable … for me, when I add all of this together, I find that I have a person who is placing his bigotry into policy that is harmful to our society, and for that, he ought to be impeached.”
When an unidentified man spoke out by giving a rambling rebuke of Green and others on the panel before finally asking what Trump had done wrong, another audience member replied incredulously, “Have you been listening?”
To be removed from office under the Constitution, a president must be charged by the House and tried and convicted by the Senate.
The standard is high crimes and misdemeanors and the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s dealing with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign would meet that threshold if its determined that the president did engage with a foreign government to fix the election.
Panelist Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People and co-author of “The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump,” said Trump is ruining the United States.
“What sociologists have noticed is that when Trump gives a rally in a certain city, if you compare that city to the week before or the week after, or if you compare it to other cities on that same day, there are more racial incidents, more violent incidents in schools and communities in these cities where Trump is giving a rally,” Fein said.
Fellow panelist Allan Lichtman, professor of history at American University, said impeaching Trump is necessary for preserving society.
“Impeachment is the appropriate remedy for a runaway, rogue president who endangers our national security, our liberties, our freedom, our great traditions like an independent judiciary, a free press, tolerance among different groups in the country,” Lichtman said. “And don’t get hung up on whether it is a technically indictable crime under the statute law.”