The House of Representatives voted to table a resolution to impeach President Donald Trump by a vote of 332-95 on Wednesday ― the latest show of simmering discontent among some Democrats about the refusal of their party’s leadership to challenge the president.
The resolution was offered by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) in response to racist comments made by Trump on Twitter, in which he told four Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their countries of origin.
“Donald John Trump has, by his statements, brought the high office of the President of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace and disrepute; has sown discord among the people of the United States; has demonstrated that he is unfit to be President; and has betrayed his trust as President of the United States to the manifest injury of the people of the United States; and has committed a high misdemeanor in office,” Green said while introducing his resolution on the floor of the House on Tuesday.
The resolution was not welcomed by Democratic Party leadership, which is trying to avoid talk of impeaching the president.
This is the third time Green has offered an impeachment resolution since Trump took office. The previous two resolutions were tabled ― or removed from the floor by a vote ― by wide majorities. But each successive resolution has seen an increasing number of lawmakers voting against tabling.
A new high of 95 lawmakers ― all Democrats ― voted against tabling the resolution on Wednesday. That was up from the 66 lawmakers who voted against tabling a resolution in January 2018. It’s also higher than the total number of lawmakers publicly calling for an impeachment inquiry.
The most notable vote against tabling the resolution was that of House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). Nadler has not publicly backed an impeachment inquiry, which would be handled by his committee.
Democrats have been split over whether or not to launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump since special counsel Robert Mueller’s “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” was released by the Department of Justice. The report noted 10 potential instances where Trump could have obstructed justice into the investigation and explained that the only constitutional manner to deal with a president breaking the law is through Congress’ impeachment power.
In total, 83 House members ― 82 Democrats and one Republican turned independent ― have called for Congress to launch an impeachment inquiry into the president.
Most members calling for an impeachment inquiry argue that the president’s acts as described in Mueller’s report are crimes and need to be investigated. Some have also noted that the president’s alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause and open racism are impeachable offenses. A formal impeachment inquiry would also strengthen Congress’ hand in the courts to obtain documents and testimony from current and former White House officials.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has led the opposition to impeachment as more Democrats have called for an inquiry.
While Pelosi has stated that Trump “engaged in a criminal cover-up” and that while she would like to see him in prison, she has also decided that his alleged crimes do not merit a formal impeachment inquiry.
Instead, she’s claimed Trump is “self-impeaching;” that “impeachment’s too good for him;” that he “wants to be impeached so he can be exonerated by the Senate;” or that impeachment is “the easy way out.” She’s also said she is “done with him.”
Ahead of the House’s vote on Green’s impeachment resolution, Pelosi further explained her position against launching an impeachment inquiry.
“We have six committees that are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and the rest that the president may have engaged in,” she said at a news conference on Wednesday.
This process, however, has been stalled by the president, who has blocked former staffers from testifying and refused to hand over relevant documents. Democrats have threatened to hold those like ex-White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt, but have not yet done so. They have filed no legal motions to secure White House documents or to force former administration officials to testify.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated the vote count as 334-95. It was 332-95.