Following the impeachment call, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) claimed he has been threatened with lynching. He added that he had been menaced with threatening phone calls after he took to the House floor to accuse Trump of “obstruction of justice,” but also asserted he would not be cowed by the messages. He also played a number of voicemails at a town hall meeting in Houston.
"I do this because I believe in the great ideals that this country stands for: liberty and justice for all...I do it because, Mr. Speaker, there is a belief in this country that no one is above the law, and that includes the president of the United States of America," Green said to the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday morning.
Green cited Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his threatening tweets following the incident as reasons to move forward with impeaching the president. In a press statement released on Monday, Green had elaborated on these issues and how they are grounds for Congressional action.
"Here are the acts committed by the President that, when combined, merit his being charged (impeached) for obstructing a lawful investigation:
- The President fired the F.B.I. Director overseeing a lawful investigation of the President’s campaign ties to Russian influence in the President’s 2016 Election.
- The President acknowledged he considered the investigation when he fired the F.B.I. Director.
- The President made the F.B.I. Director the subject of a threatening tweet — 'James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.'
These acts, when combined, amount to intimidation and obstruction."
It would take the House majority to impeach Trump, and that requires Republican support. So far, no GOP members of Congress have called for impeachment. However, with news of Trump's dangerously stupid choice to expose classified intelligence to Russian officials, some may finally be forced to choose country over party.
In addition, as more details are leaked about the circumstances surrounding Comey's firing, Trump looks more like a risk for national security. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) said on Tuesday that, if the allegations made regarding Trump pressuring Comey to drop the investigation on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn proved to be true, impeachment would be warranted.
Perhaps most importantly during his speech, Green brought back into the picture the American people, who have seemed to have become more of an afterthought than a priority in the current political system.
"Mr. Speaker, our democracy is at risk," Green said. "Mr. Speaker, it is time for the American people to weigh in. Mr. Speaker, the American people are a part of this democracy. This is a participatory democracy. The American people don't participate on Election Day only. The American people participate daily, and this is your day to act."
Polls show growing support amongst the American public for Trump's impeachment, with one of the most recent ones revealing that, for the first time since his inauguration, more American's support impeaching Trump than oppose it. Green made a case for this, reminding the public that they have a crucial role to play in what happens next. He encouraged citizens to go to impeachDonaldTrumpnow.com to sign a petition created by the constitution activist group Free Speech for People. As of Wednesday afternoon, over 1 million people had signed the petition.
To push things in a direction that does not merely send the U.S. back to a tepid status quo, but brings the nation into a new and evolved democracy, the people must be involved. In the words of famous American jazz musician and educator Wynton Marsalis: "We always hear about the rights of democracy, but the major responsibility of it is participation."
Banner and thumbnail credit: Flickr user Kim Davies