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President Donald Trump is on the cusp of being impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, with a historic vote set today on whether to formally accuse him of abusing his power in dealing with Ukraine to help himself politically, and then obstructing Congress by blocking their investigation. Trump lashed out directly at the vote on Tuesday, calling the proceedings to remove him from office an "attempted coup." Should the House approve either of the articles of impeachment, the Republican-controlled Senate will hold a trial with all 100 senators acting as jurors, with a two-thirds supermajority 67 votes required to convict.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters in favor of impeaching Trump took to the streets Tuesday in cities across the country. On what many are calling "Impeachment Day," we go to Capitol Hill to speak with Rep. Al Green of Texas, who was the first congressmember to call for President Trump's impeachment from the floor of the House of Representatives in 2017.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: The House of Representatives is set to hold a historic vote today on two articles of impeachment against President Trump. The articles accuse President Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. They center on how President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump's political rival, Joe Biden, and how Trump then tried to cover up his actions to thwart a congressional inquiry. After a six-hour debate on the House floor, the Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote for impeachment by the end of the day, which would mark only the third time in U.S. history that a president has been impeached. Today's vote comes after the House Rules Committee approved the terms of today's debate, which will allow no amendments on the floor. Trump lashed out directly at the vote Tuesday, calling the attempt to remove him an "attempted coup."
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They know it's a hoax. It's a witch hunt. And it's just a continuation. It's been going on now for almost three years, and it probably started before I even won the election, based on what we're finding out with the insurance policy quotes and other things. So it's a disgrace.
AMY GOODMAN: Trump lashed out at Democrats Tuesday in a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing her, quote, of "declaring open war on American Democracy." Trump called the impeachment process an "illegal, partisan attempted coup." He also falsely claimed "More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials."
Meanwhile, protesters held rallies calling for Trump's impeachment in cities across the country, including Boston, New Orleans, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Tucson, Austin, Seattle, Des Moines and here in New York.
OBIE HUNT: Republican senators just already made up their minds. And that's what I think is terrible. If they were jurors, you wouldn't even be sitting on a jury if you said you already made up your mind. You know, they should do what's best for the country and not the party.
AMY GOODMAN: All of this comes after some Democrats have pushed to impeach Trump for years. In a minute, we'll be joined by Texas Democratic Congressmember Al Green. In 2017, he became the first congressmember to go to the House floor to call for President Trump's impeachment, then twice more after that.
REP. AL GREEN: I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice. ... 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. ...
When he said that there were some s-hole countries as he was addressing his immigration policy, he was putting his bigotry into policy. And that is something that we all should all concern ourselves with, the fact that the president's policies are based upon his bigotry. Impeachment is the remedy. ...
It's time for people to decide: Are we going to take on bigotry, or are we going to allow it to fester and grow? You don't eliminate bigotry by dealing with it in a politically expedient way. You have to take it head on. ... I'm concerned that if we don't impeach this president, he will get re-elected. If we don't impeach him, he will say he has been vindicated.
AMY GOODMAN: That's Houston Congressmember Al Green, repeatedly calling for impeachment from the House floor, joining us now on this historic day, what many are calling "Impeachment Day."
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