News & Politics

Impeachment chatter ratchets up in halls of the Capitol

Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) called for President Trump's impeachment on May 17, saying "we believe that no one is above the law." (Photo: Melina Mara//The Washington Post)
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No Democrat was in more demand Wednesday than Rep. Al Green (Tex.) — the seven-term Democrat from Houston who held a hometown news conference two days before calling for the impeachment of President Trump.

Then came allegations that Trump had pressured the FBI director to beg off a criminal investigation of his then-national security adviser — and then came the media.

Green delivered a morning floor speech on impeachment (“with a heavy heart, with a sense of duty”), then spent nearly an hour just outside the House chamber, walking from camera to camera near the Capitol’s statue of Will Rogers, where TV networks set up their satellite links.

“It’s about the fact that the president has committed obstruction of justice,” Green, a former trial lawyer, said in an interview. “It is indisputable that he fired the FBI director. It is indisputable that he said he considered the investigation that was taking place — of the president — when he fired him. And it’s indisputable that he went on to tweet what might be considered intimidation, words that are intimidating.”

For much of a frenzied day, Democrats and Republicans were asked not just whether there needed to be further investigations of the president, but whether impeachment, a power Congress has used against just three of its 45 presidents, was on their minds.

It was unclear how the Justice Department’s decision to appoint Robert S. Mueller III as a special counsel to oversee allegations of Russian meddling in the election would affect such talk. As of earlier Wednesday, neither party’s leaders wanted to talk about impeachment. But neither party could seem to avoid it.

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