U.S. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) received voicemails threatening to lynch him and calling him racial slurs after he called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, he said Saturday.
Green, who is black, played the recordings for about 100 attendees at a town hall in Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle. They include death threats, racial epithets and graphic language.
“Hey Al Green, we’ve got an impeachment for you. It’s going to be yours,” one caller said. “It’s actually going to give you a short trial before we hang your nigger ass.”
(Listen to two other voicemails at the Houston Chronicle.)
“We’ll lynch all you fuckin’ niggers,” another caller said. “You’ll be hanging from a tree.”
That caller went on to claim no one had called for Barack Obama’s impeachment (they had), even though “he was born in Kenya” (he wasn’t). Trump helped spread the “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. He finally disavowed it last year, though in a September HuffPost/YouGov poll, 39 percent of Republicans still said Obama was not born in the U.S., and 28 percent said they weren’t sure where he was born.
“It does not deter us,” Green said after playing the recordings. “We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to allow this to cause us to deviate from what we believe to be the right thing to do, and that is to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump.”
“When people say that they will lynch you, I think you have to take that seriously,” Green told MSNBC host Joy Reid on Saturday, adding that his team had “extreme security measures” in place for the town hall.
Green on Wednesday called for Trump’s impeachment on the House floor after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia and the question of interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump reportedly asked Comey to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a memo Comey wrote describing a February meeting in the Oval Office. The memo was shared with The New York Times.
“I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice,” Green said Wednesday. “I do not do this for political purposes. 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. Mr. Speaker, our democracy is at risk.”
The White House denied that Trump had made the request and contested Comey’s account of the two men’s meeting.
More than 20 other members of Congress, including several Republicans, have spoken about the possibility of impeachment, suggesting the events described in Comey’s memo could amount to obstruction of justice.