U.S. lawmakers vote to reject Democrat's resolution to impeach Trump

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-07 06:16:57|Editor: yan
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to stop an effort by lawmaker Al Green to impeach President Donald Trump.

In a 364-58 vote, lawmakers tabled the impeachment resolution from the Texas Democrat. All Republicans voted to turn away Green's resolution, while four Democratic lawmakers voted present. The vast majority of Democrats joined with Republicans in voting to table it in the GOP-led House.

Green's articles of impeachment do not allege Trump has specifically committed a crime. Instead, he argues that Trump has "brought disrepute, contempt, ridicule and disgrace on the presidency" and "sown discord among the people of the United States."

To back the claim, the articles of impeachment cite Trump's equivocating response to the violent clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia; his sharing of anti-Muslim videos posted online by a fringe British nationalist group; and attacks at NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest what they say police brutality.

The White House quickly dismissed the impeachment effort, labeling Green and his allies "extremists."

Shortly before the vote, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said there are "legitimate questions" raised about Trump's fitness to lead the country.

But they said the ongoing investigations by congressional committees and the FBI into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow during last year's election need to play out.

"Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment," they wrote in a statement.

Several Democratic lawmakers argued that it's premature to act before special counsel Robert Mueller's team completes its Russia investigation.

Representative Dan Kildee said Democratic lawmakers cannot allow themselves to be drawn into a process "that's not thoughtful or complete or might not even be the conclusion we ought to draw."

"We ought to let Mr. Mueller complete his full investigation rather than engage in what would essentially be a public relations stunt," Kildee said. "This is a serious thing."

While acknowledging his effort to force an impeachment vote was facing opposition from fellow Democrats, Green said he believes there is a need for Congress to discuss Trump's fitness for office.

Green first unveiled a draft of his articles of impeachment in October, but refrained from demanding a vote on it. Some Democrats tried talking Green out of his plan.

Under House rules, any member is allowed to offer a "privileged" resolution on the floor that must receive legal action within two days, a process Green used to ensure a vote on impeachment.

Other Democrats have also proposed articles of impeachment this year, but they have not forced a vote on the issue.

Last month, a group of six Democrats, including Green, unveiled articles of impeachment accusing Trump of obstructing justice when firing former FBI Director James Comey; violating the Constitution's emoluments clause; and undermining the independence of the federal judiciary and freedom of the press.