WASHINGTON ― Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) called for impeaching President Donald Trump from the House floor on Wednesday.
"I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice," Green began in a sermon-like speech.
"I do not do this for political purposes," he continued. "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."
Trump is in hot water for, among other things, firing FBI Director James Comey, who had been investigating Trump's campaign and its potential ties to Russian officials who interfered in last year's election to help Trump win. On top of that, explosive news reports this week revealed that Trump shared highly classified information with Russian officials during an Oval Office visit last week and previously asked Comey to stop investigating him and his team.
Details are still murky on the latter charge, but lawmakers in both parties have said that if it's true, it constitutes obstruction of justice, which is grounds for impeachment. Green says it's time to start the process.
"The president must be impeached," he said. "Impeachment does not mean the president will be found guilty. It simply means that the House of Representatives will bring charges against the president. It's similar to an indictment. ... Then the Senate can have a trial to determine the guilt or the innocence of the president."
The Texas Democrat rattled off a website, impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org, and urged people to sign a petition there saying they agree it's time to begin impeachment proceedings. It is ultimately the public, he said, that will decide whether impeachment happens.
"I am a voice in the wilderness," Green said, now shouting. "But I assure you that history will vindicate me ... I assure you that no lie can live forever."
His dramatic speech was capped off by a warning from the lawmaker overseeing House proceedings: "Members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president, such as accusations that he committed an impeachable offense."
Green isn't the first member of Congress to bring up impeaching Trump. At least 16 House Democrats have talked about it, and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said Wednesday that if the allegations in the Comey memo are true, they are grounds for impeachment. And Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) said on CNN Tuesday night that the situation described in the memos sounds serious and "could be construed as obstruction of justice," which has traditionally been an impeachable offense for U.S. presidents.
In the Senate, Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has floated the idea, and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, said Congress is getting closer to another impeachment process.
"Reluctantly, Wolf, I have to say yes, simply because obstruction of justice is such a serious offense," King told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. "And I say it with sadness and reluctance. This is not something that I've advocated for. The word has not passed my lips in these tumultuous three or more months."
This article has been updated with comments made by Rep. Carlos Curbelo.