WASHINGTON - Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said Monday that he would move forward in the next two weeks on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, saying "the American people are fed up" with his racism and bigotry.
Green, who filed articles of impeachment in 2017 and has threatened for months to try again, said things "came to a boiling point" with Trump's weekend tweets as well as his handling of the crisis along the southern U.S. border.
Trump tweeted Sunday that a group of minority, liberal congresswomen should "go back" to their home countries. All four are U.S. citizens, and three of them were born in the United States. On Monday, Trump expressed no regrets about the statement when asked by reporters whether he was concerned that many people have called it racist.
"It doesn't concern me because many people agree with me. And all I'm saying - they want to leave, they can leave," he said at the White House.
"To tolerate bigotry when you can do something about bigotry is to perpetuate it," Green said in an interview Monday. "I will not tolerate the level of bigotry emanating from the president, especially in policy."
The House voted 364 to 58 in December 2017, with Republicans in the majority, on a motion to table Green's previous impeachment push. Green said Monday that things have changed: "I have had enough. I believe a good many of my colleagues have had enough. We'll find out how many. And I think the American people are fed up with this behavior . . . This is the only place, by the way, where the president can be checked. There's no other place."
- Trump says four liberal congresswomen — including Rep. Omar — should 'go back' to the 'crime infested places from which they came'
- Republicans are quiet as Trump urges minority congresswomen to leave the country
- Trump calls on minority congresswomen to apologize after he said they should 'go back' to their countries
Green's announcement threatens to complicate House Democratic leaders' plans for July, including the much-anticipated July 24 testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller. While more than 80 House Democrats have called for an impeachment inquiry based on Mueller's report and other factors, many more have withheld judgment.
Green said his impeachment push stood apart from the efforts to rebuke Trump for his alleged obstruction of justice.
"This is in no way going to impede that investigation. This is separate and apart from that," the congressman said. "This deals with our original sin - it deals with the hatred and bigotry that has developed through the years for people of color, for members of the LGBTQ community, the trans community, those who are of the Islamic faith, those who are of the Jewish faith. It's about people who have been marginalized and how we cannot allow the president of the United States to . . . fuel the flame of confusion as it relates to this level of bigotry."
Democratic leaders could choose to move to table Green's impeachment resolution, as Republican leaders did in 2017. He said such an outcome would be "greatly disappointing."
"We have 235 members of the House - we cannot blame Republicans if this did not go forward," he said, referring to the number of Democrats. "The question is, are we going to stand up to this president and let him know that there are some boundaries in this country when it comes to the bigotry that he seeks to impose."
This article was written by Mike DeBonis, a reporter for The Washington Post.