WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic lawmakers expressed serious reservations Wednesday about a liberal colleague's push for a House vote on impeaching President Donald Trump, saying it's premature to act before special counsel Robert Mueller's team completes its investigation into Russian election meddling.
Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said he will present articles of impeachment under a rule that requires the House to vote on the issue within two days. His new eight-page resolution accuses Trump of "high misdemeanors," citing "harm to American society to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
The effort is certain to lose, and Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer told Democrats behind the scenes Wednesday that they will vote to table Green's resolution, according to a Democratic aide who was not authorized to publicly discuss the conversations and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., 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. It ought not to be done on a whim."
Green said on the House floor that he planned to take the road less traveled in seeking Trump's impeachment. He's convinced it's a road worth traveling, but he said, "I ask that no one take this journey with me."
If he follows the proper procedures, Republicans will hold a vote on tabling — in effect, killing — the proposal during the House's first series of votes on Wednesday, said a GOP leadership aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a decision by party leaders.
Green's effort is certain to be opposed by all Republicans in the GOP-majority House.
Pelosi has said any impeachment drive should wait until there's evidence of an impeachable offense. Another problem for Democrats is that opposing Green's resolution puts them at risk of angering the party's rabidly anti-Trump voters. Some Democrats have tried talking Green out of his plan. They did the same in October, when he proposed a similar resolution but never demanded a vote on it.
Green's impeachment articles cite incidents including Trump's defense of protesters after a rally of white supremacists at this year's riot and deadly car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia; his recent sharing of hateful, anti-Muslim videos posted online by a fringe British extremist group; his efforts to ban Muslim immigrants; and his opposition to letting transgender people serve in the military.
Associated Press staff writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.