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Dem. Rep. Al Green defies Pelosi, files articles of impeachment against President Trump. Move will force Democrats to cast divisive vote.


The Democratic leadership in the House has a decision to make

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A Democratic congressman filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump late Tuesday night, forcing the House of Representatives to schedule a vote on the move.

All eyes are now on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — who opposes immediate impeachment proceedings — to see how leadership will handle the matter.

What are the details?

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) filed the articles of impeachment in reaction to recent comments President Trump made on Twitter regarding four progressive congresswomen. Trump suggested Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) "go back" to the countries they "originally came from."

All of the women are American citizens, and three of them were born in the U.S. The president's tweets drew widespread condemnation, but he denied having any racist intentions behind his comments.

While the Democrat-led House passed a resolution (amid chaos) condemning the president's comments on Tuesday, Pelosi has long maintained that she is opposed to pursuing impeachment proceedings against the president until ongoing congressional investigations involving his administration have concluded.

She confirmed to Politico on Wednesday that she does not support Green's move, which is being forced because it is a privileged motion and can be introduced by any member.

House leadership now has a decision to make. An impeachment-related vote is expected to occur as early as 4 p.m. Wednesday, and they may opt to proceed with the resolution, table it, or send it off to committee.

In the instance that the resolution is directed to committee or tabled, Pelosi risks angering an already rebellious progressive wing of her divided caucus, which has been emboldened by the furor over President Trump's tweets.

But if Pelosi brings it to the floor for a vote, she faces risks whether it passes or fails, because either scenario could result in the resolution's ultimate demise. Knowing this, Republicans might even vote against tabling the motion or sending the resolution to committee in order to force an up-or-down vote.

If impeachment passes in the House, any attempts to remove the president from office is likely destined for failure given the likelihood that the GOP-led Senate would not vote to convict.

If it fails in the House, many would see it as a rebuke of far-left Democrats who are focused on removing Trump from the White House and as a major political victory for a president who is in the throes of a reelection bid.

Anything else?

Rep. Green has been chomping at the bit to see President Trump ousted from office. The Texas congressman twice presented articles of impeachment against the president, according to Politico, but his previous attempts stopped by the then-Republican majority in the House.

Green believes now is the time to make his move after the House condemnation of the president, despite pushback from his party's leadership. He told CNN Wednesday, "As a result of what we did yesterday, the president suffers no harm, he doesn't have to pay any fine, he's not going to lose his job. But today, we have the opportunity to punish."

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