(The Hill) An unexpectedly high number of Democrats voted in favor of an effort to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump on Wednesday, revealing the growing agitation among liberals to remove him from office.
The House voted overwhelmingly 364-58 to table a resolution from Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) laying out articles of impeachment against Trump, with four Democrats voting “present.”
All Republicans voted with 126 Democrats to defeat the resolution. Those Democrats included Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), who announced ahead of the vote they would vote to table the effort.
They cited the ongoing investigations by congressional committees and the FBI special counsel.“Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment,” Pelosi and Hoyer said.
Yet 58 Democrats, including Green, voted against tabling the resolution. Reps. Joaquin Castro (Texas), Marc Veasey (Texas), Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.) and Terri Sewell (Ala.) voted “present.” Shea-Porter represents a district won by Trump in 2016.
“The resolution received fifty-seven more votes than many expected. This is the first vote, but it will not be the last,” Green said in a statement.
Here’s a look at the Democrats who voted in favor of starting to impeach Trump.
A handful of Democrats apart from Green had also been calling for Trump’s impeachment. Lawmakers like Reps. Maxine Waters (Calif.), Ted Lieu (Calif.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas) endorsed impeaching Trump months ago.
Waters and Lieu in particular have built higher profiles since Trump took office through their sharp criticism of the president. Twitter this week released data showing Lieu, who often takes aim at Trump through the platform, as the fifth top account among U.S. elected officials.
Green’s articles of impeachment stated that Trump has “brought disrepute, contempt, ridicule and disgrace on the presidency” and “sown discord among the people of the United States.” The articles cited Trump’s response to the violent clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., and attacks on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality as examples of how Trump has divided the nation.
Other Democrats who have also filed articles of impeachment supported Green’s effort on Wednesday.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduced an article of impeachment in July alleging that Trump obstructed justice by firing James Comey as FBI director amid the investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
And last month, Green and five other Democrats introduced articles of impeachment that similarly accuse Trump of obstructing justice, violating the foreign emoluments clause barring the president from taking gifts from foreign governments and undermining the courts and media.
Reps. Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Adriano Espaillat (N.Y.), Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.) and John Yarmuth (Ky.) introduced those articles of impeachment with Green. All but Gutiérrez, who did not vote, and Yarmuth, who voted to table the resolution, supported Green’s efforts.
Yarmuth serves as the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
Many progressives who haven’t introduced impeachment measures also voted for Green’s resolution.
Liberal Democrats like Reps. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Jamie Raskin (Md.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), and Keith Ellison (Minn.) were among the lawmakers who voted against tabling Green’s resolution.
Ellison serves as deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Congressional Black Caucus members
Green, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), was joined by many of his fellow caucus members who have expressed disgust with Trump’s handling of race relations.
CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) voted against tabling Green’s resolution. So did Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who as assistant House minority leader was the only member of Democratic leadership to vote with Green.
Green’s articles of impeachment also cited Trump’s personal attacks against fellow CBC member, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.). Trump called Wilson “wacky” on Twitter after she criticized his handling of a conversation with the family of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed during an October ambush in Niger.
Wilson was among the lawmakers who voted with Green.
Reps. Alma Adams (N.C.), Karen Bass (Calif.), Joyce Beatty (Ohio), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Lacy Clay (Mo.), Danny K. Davis (Ill.), Dwight Evans(Pa.), Fudge, Alcee Hastings (Fla.), Jackson Lee, Robin Kelly (Ill.), Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), John Lewis (Ga.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Bobby Rush (Ill.), Bennie Thompson (Miss.), Waters and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.) made up the remaining CBC members who voted against tabling Green’s resolution.
Not all CBC members joined in. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), who helps lead House Democrats’ messaging, voted to table the impeachment resolution.
Multiple Democrats who serve as the ranking member on House committees showed their support for impeaching Trump.
They included Reps. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee; Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), who leads Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and Robert Brady (Pa.), who serves as ranking member of the House Administration Committee.
Then there was Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), who as recently as this summer warned against forcing Democrats to go on the record about impeachment.
At the time, Sherman had mulled possibly forcing a vote on his article of impeachment using the same process Green did on Wednesday. Capuano spoke up during a House Democratic caucus meeting to caution about the consequences for the party’s efforts to win the majority in 2018.
But on Wednesday, Capuano said in a Facebook post that it’s “time to have an open, honest debate on President Trump and his fitness for office.”
“Practically and politically, I think most of us can agree that passing articles of impeachment in this House isn’t realistic at this moment in our history. But sometimes, it’s more important to follow your heart than do the practical or political calculation,” Capuano wrote.
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