Reps Tlaib and Green seek support for Trump's impeachment

Forget the Mueller report and the letter to Congress penned by Attorney General William Barr. Rep. Al Green (D-TX) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are trying their hardest to keep hope alive in the House of Representatives. Theirs is the hope of impeachment and both members are determined to move forward. In the case of Rep. Green, he thinks President Trump should be impeached because “bigotry is impeachable.”

In an interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto Monday, he plans to force a vote on impeachment even though Speaker Pelosi has already said that impeachment is off the table and that President Trump “isn’t worth it.” Green sang the same song in the last session of Congress but he only read his resolution calling for the start of impeachment proceedings on the floor of the House, he didn’t actually introduce his resolution. But, once Democrats took back control of the House in January, he and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) introduced articles of impeachment on the first day of the new Congress.

“It’s not about any one person, it’s really about the concept of ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’ and the notion that we have a Democracy. And within this democracy, our Constitution accords this right to bring impeachment to the floor for every member of our caucus.” Green said on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” when asked why he was taking this action.

He added, “I’m not antithetical to what the speaker is saying or anyone else. I ask each person to vote your conscience, do what you may. But do understand that I would do as my conscience dictates.”

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. Instead of focusing on President Trump’s alleged tweeting of “disparaging” remarks about NFL players, Puerto Ricans, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and President Barack Obama, as he did last time around, now Green is solely focused on bigotry. When all else fails, accuse a Republican of bigotry or racism, I guess. Every Republican president in my lifetime has been accused of being racist at some point by Democrat opponents.

Green hasn’t actually spoken to Pelosi about this but nevermind. He’s moving forward with his plan to contact each member of the House to garner their support. Good luck with that, Al. I don’t doubt he’ll get some support from the most unhinged in the Democrat caucus. Maxine Waters, for example, was demanding impeachment before Trump was even sworn into office. But most will be focusing on their own re-elections and following the lead of the Speaker.

Is “bigotry” even an impeachable offense? According to this article, the question of what is an impeachable offense falls to the members of the House to determine. Impeachable offenses aren’t clearly defined by the Constitution.

Under these principles, should a conscientious member of Congress seriously consider voting to impeach a president believed to be a racist?

To do so in good faith, the member must focus on the president’s official conduct. The member should ask whether the president’s racism is causing him to exercise his vast discretion to interpret and enforce federal law in a manner that is, 1) inconsistent with constitutional norms, and 2) not easily counteracted through ordinary politics or litigation.

If a conscientious member of Congress were to conclude that the president’s racism is affecting federal policy, these two criteria could be satisfied.

First, the Constitution’s promise of “equal protection of the laws” makes the consideration of race, religion, ethnicity or national origin in executing or enforcing federal law unconstitutional in all but the rarest of circumstances. At the cost of immense human suffering, we have established as a bathe sic norm that government should not use any of these characteristics as proxies for merit.

Second, the administration can easily insulate policy decisions affected by such considerations from effective challenge by presenting and justifying them in non-discriminatory language.

Technically speaking, the article concludes that bigotry could be considered an impeachable offense if the President were to exhibit such behavior in policy-making in more than one instance. I would argue that the president’s travel ban, for example, was not a bigoted action. Not every country listed was a Muslim majority country and it was about national security not prejudice against skin color.

Rep. Tlaib is taking a more traditional route. She dismisses the conclusions of the Mueller report from Attorney General Barr and sent a letter to House Democrats Monday asking for support in forming a commission to investigate “whether President Trump committed impeachable offenses surrounding his businesses while in office and other alleged improper behavior.”

“I, firmly, believe that the House Committee on Judiciary should seek out whether President Trump has committed ‘High crimes and Misdemeanors’ as designated by the U.S. Constitution and if the facts support those findings, that Congress begin impeachment proceedings,” Tlaib wrote.

“Congress can provide an open and transparent process with the sole goal of ensuring we know the truth and make sure it does not continue, nor happen again,” she added.

Beyond Trump’s ownership of businesses while in the White House, the resolution also calls on the House to investigate the president for obstruction of justice over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey as well as hush payments through Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels and other women who alleged past affairs.

You may remember Talib’s infamous war cry caught on video as she celebrated her swearing-in with supporters. She declared, “We’re going to impeach this motherfucker.” Vulgar language aside, her intentions were clear from the beginning.

Meanwhile, the NRCC is targeting districts held by vulnerable Democrats with digital ads. Rep. Tlaib’s infamous remark is featured as well as Pelosi’s remark that Trump “isn’t worth it”. Let’s face it, those two remarks immediately became ads just waiting to happen. I’m happy to see the NRCC has pounced.

The ad campaign is the latest sign that Republicans will try to tie vulnerable Democrats to their more liberal colleagues to win back the House.

An example of the digital ad, shared first with Roll Call, opens with an on-screen text of Michigan freshman Rashida Tlaib’s remark that Democrats will “impeach the motherf—-r” juxtaposed with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent declaration that Trump was “not worth it” when it came to impeachment.

“Democrats are split on baseless impeachment talks,” the text on screen continues in the 12-second video. The ad then instructs viewers to call the Democratic lawmaker being targeted and ask where he or she stands on impeaching Trump.

The spots are part of a five-figure digital buy. They will run on Facebook in all 55 districts the NRCC is targeting this cycle.

As a Houstonian, I apologize, America, for the continued re-election of Rep. Green. Tlaib, however, is a freshman and her job security is much more tenuous. We’ll see how seriously these two are taken in the House as the 2020 election looms large in everyone’s mind.