HOUSTON, TEXAS — Texas Democrat Rep. Al Green, who has brought articles of impeachment to the floor several times and vowed to do so again when Congress returned in September, suggested on Thursday he may hold off.
When asked at Texas Southern University before the third Democrat debate whether he planned to raise articles again, he told Breitbart News, “It depends on how the Judiciary Committee performs. It’s always there if we need it.”
Green previously told NPR in August that he would raise articles of impeachment against Trump for a fifth time in September. He has called for Trump’s impeachment four previous times. All attempts have failed. The last vote in mid-July ended with a 332-95 vote not to move forward on the issue.
However, since then, dozens more House Democrats have come out in support of impeachment or an impeachment inquiry, bringing the number to above 130 and more than half of the Democrat caucus.
But also during that time, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who is facing a primary challenge from his left, has announced he is conducting an “impeachment inquiry” into Trump, despite never having a vote on the House floor to launch it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has opposed impeaching Trump since it would surely be rejected in the Republican-controlled Senate, where a two-third majority would be needed to force Trump to leave office. She is also aware that a majority of Americans oppose impeachment.
However, she has supported Nadler’s so-called inquiry, since it would allow pro-impeachment Democrats to come out in support of impeachment but also allow vulnerable Democrats to say they oppose immediate impeachment but back the inquiry.
Green’s latest remarks suggest he is supporting Pelosi’s stance of waiting on actual impeachment but supporting the Judiciary Committee to see what they find.
Republicans — and some Democrats — argue it is not an impeachment inquiry without the House taking a full floor vote, and that Nadler is trying to make it look like an impeachment inquiry to fool Democrat voters.
Nadler took another step to make the inquiry — which he first branded as an investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice in the Russia investigation and should be impeached — more formal.
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee voted on guidelines for the investigation to make it seem more like an impeachment inquiry.