Why the Democrats’ Vote to Impeach Trump Failed

December 7, 2017, 12:35 AM UTC

Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) introduced a House resolution (H.Res. 646) to impeach President Trump on Wednesday. Representatives motioned to table the articles that claimed Trump “is unfit to be president” and should be “impeached for high misdemeanors.” The resolution was voted down by a 364-58 margin, with many members of the Democratic Party voting against Trump’s impeachment.

In his articles of impeachment, Green issued two specific articles. The first said that Trump has “harmed the society of the United States… by associating the majesty and dignity of the presidency with causes rooted in white supremacy, bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, white nationalism, or neo-Nazism” on multiple occasions.

In Green’s second article of impeachment, the seven-term representative from Texas’ ninth district said that Trump “harmed American society by publicly casting contempt on individuals and groups, inciting hate and hostility, sowing discord among the people of the United States, on the basis of race, national origin, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.” Specifically, Green referenced the travel ban that fulfilled Trump’s campaign promise of a “complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., the banning of transgender individuals serving in the military, as well as denigrating comments he made about NFL players, Puerto Ricans, and Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.).

Green’s efforts to impeach Donald Trump failed simply because he didn’t have the votes, though some high-profile Democrats—including Jim Clyburn (D–S.C.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)—did cast ballots in its favor. In all, 58 House Democrats voted for impeachment, though Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opposed the measure. “Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment,” said Pelosi in a joint statement issued with Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

Another reason that Green’s effort stalled is that it superseded the efforts already underway as a part of the special counsel investigation being headed up by Robert Mueller. Despite indictments of three members of Trump’s cohort—as well as a guilty plea agreement by former national security advisor Michael Flynn—there’s speculation that what’s currently known of the investigation is only the tip of the iceberg. The most recent development is that Trump’s banking information has reportedly been subpoenaed from Deutsche Bank. The White House has denied that report.