Rep. Al Green (D, Tex.) has remained the most quoted Democratic member . . . . by Republicans. Green has given Republicans quotable gems to show a long-standing and unending effort to impeach Trump from his very first day in office. His most popular GOP talking point is “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.” However, Green has also said recently that the House may continue to impeach Trump and has called for an array of clearly illegitimate articles of impeachment. Now, Green has given Republicans a quote to reinforce its narrative by declaring that the “genesis” of the impeachment began before Donald Trump was even elected. That is likely to be added to the top Green quotes for the upcoming Senate trial.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes seemed to be setting up Green to walk back his prior controversial comments and defuse some of his quotes being used by Republicans. He stated:
“Political expediency and insincerity — those are two charges that have been leveled against Democrats during this entire affair, particularly since September when the formal impeachment inquiry started, and you play a starring role in those charges. The argument goes like this of House Republicans and Trump and his allies: the Democrats wanted to impeach Donald Trump from day one, they cast about looking for a set of facts that they could plausibly use to do it, and all of it was pretextual and reverse-engineered to get to this point, and Exhibit One: Congressman Al Green, who [has] been calling for the man’s impeachment for two years now. What’s your response to that charge?”
It was the ultimate softball question that actually supplied the Democratic talking point in the question for the obvious answer. The only thing Hayes did not do is hold up a sign saying “Just repeat what I said.” Green proceeded however to double down.
“Well, the genesis of impeachment, to be very candid with you, was when the president was running for office and he had members of his own party to talk about his unfitness to hold office. . . So the president didn’t have the luxury of persons from his party having been on his side as it were throughout this entire ordeal.”
The result is that a question overtly designed to get Green to walk back on claims that he wanted to impeach from the first day of Trump’s Administration led to a new answer saying that it actually began before he was elected.
Here is the transcript: Hayes/Green interview