House Democrats overwhelmingly joined Republicans on Wednesday to defeat an attempt to impeach President Donald Trump. But 58 Democrats supported the bid to consider impeachment over the objections of House Democratic leaders, who viewed the measure as a distraction in a Republican-controlled Congress.
The motion to sideline the measure — killing the effort — was approved 364-58, with four Democrats voting present.
The vote was forced by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who introduced articles of impeachment describing Trump as a bigot who incites hate and has demeaned the presidency.
“Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office,” Green said on the House floor as he introduced the articles.
But Green, a seven-term, Houston-area lawmaker, said his conscience compelled him to push forward with the measure, even though he acknowledged he was unlikely to succeed.
“Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment,” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said in a joint statement, shortly after Green introduced his articles of impeachment.
The White House quickly dismissed the effort, labeling Green and his allies “extremists.”