Rep. Al Green appears to have let the cat out of the bag.
The Texas Democrat, one of the first to push for impeaching President Donald Trump, may not have meant to have the moment of honesty but revealed in “candid” comments on MSNBC the “genesis of impeachment.”
Green’s vocal criticisms of the president and his push to remove him from office long before the Ukraine scandal that sparked the impeachment process have been cited by Republicans as an example of the biased “witch hunt” against Trump. MSNBC host Chris Hayes confronted the congressman about the GOP accusations during his appearance on “All In” Monday.
“Political expediency and insincerity — those are two charges that have been leveled against Democrats during this entire affair, particularly since September when the formal impeachment inquiry started, and you play a starring role in those charges,” Hayes said.
“The argument goes like this of House Republicans and Trump and his allies: basically the Democrats wanted to impeach Donald Trump from day one, they cast about looking for a set of facts that they could plausibly use to do it, and all of it was pretextual and reverse-engineered to get to this point,” Hayes added. “Exhibit One: Congressman Al Green has been calling for the man’s impeachment for two years now.”
“What’s your response to that charge?” the MSNBC host asked.
“Well, the genesis of impeachment, to be very candid with you, was when the president was running for office and he had members of his own party to talk about his unfitness to hold office,” Green responded, without denying the remarks Hayes had presented.
The Democrat went on to name Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as examples from the 2016 election and their anti-Trump rhetoric.
“So the president didn’t have the luxury of persons from his party having been on his side as it were throughout this entire ordeal,” Green continued.
“With those things in mind and with the president’s behavior before us, firing Mr. [James] Comey who was investigating the intrusion of Russia into his campaign, our election — that was something that was not to be tolerated. And the president has continued to try to thwart the efforts of Congress to investigate with Mr. [Robert] Mueller,” Green argued.
“More specifically, I said that the president would claim that he was exonerated if there were impeachable actions that he performed and we did not move to perform our duty to impeach him.,” he added.
“He has distorted the truth. He has twisted it and tried to crush it to earth,” Green said.
The Texas congressman has introduced articles of impeachment against Trump three times in the House. In November 2017, just months after Trump was sworn into office, he and five other House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment – nearly two years before the whistleblower complaint on Trump’s July 2019 Ukraine call that helped launch the impeachment process last year.
Green repeatedly slammed the president as racist and bigoted but House lawmakers voted against the move each time.
Months before the charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power that were leveled at the president were voted on by the House, Green was warning that Trump “will get reelected” if Democrats did not impeach him.
“I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach the president, he will get reelected,” he said last May. “If we don’t impeach him, he will say that he has been vindicated, he will say the Democrats had an overwhelming majority in the House and they didn’t take up impeachment. He will say that we had a constitutional duty to do it if it was there and we didn’t. He will say that he has been vindicated.”
The Democrat also argued last month that Trump has to be impeached as some sort of punishment for the “original sin” of slavery in America.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 8, 2019
“I do believe that we have to deal with the original sin. We have to deal with slavery,” Green told MSNBC. “Slavery was the thing that put all of what President Trump has done lately into motion. The president has played on racism and he’s used that as a weapon to galvanize a base of support, to mobilize people.”
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