Dem Rep Laments Absence of Black Impeachment Witnesses

Witnesses were chosen by Democratic committee leadership

• December 4, 2019 12:30 pm


Rep. Al Green (D., Tex.) on Wednesday railed against the lack of diversity among the impeachment witnesses chosen by the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee.

"It hurts my heart, Mr. Speaker, to see the Judiciary Committee hearing experts on the topic of impeachment, one of the seminal issues of this Congress … and not one person of color among the experts," Green said on the House floor.

"What subliminal message are we sending to the world when we have experts, but not one person of color?" he asked. "Are we saying there are no people of color who are experts on this topic of impeachment? What is the message that we're sending?"

All four law professors expected to speak before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday on the topic of impeachment—Stanford University's Pamela Karlan, George Washington University's Jonathan Turley, University of North Carolina's Michael Gerhardt, and Harvard University's Noah Feldman—are white. All but Turley were selected by the committee's Democratic majority.

Green said that if he was wrong about the racial composition of the witnesses, he would apologize. "But if the committee is wrong, if the Congress is wrong, what will it do?" he asked.

The Houston Democrat was an early supporter of removing President Donald Trump from office, introducing an impeachment resolution as early as December 2017. Green did not point to the then-ongoing Mueller investigation, instead arguing that Trump was guilty of "associating the presidency with white nationalism, neo-Nazism, and hatred."

"It seems that there's a desire among some to have the output of people of color without input from the people of color," Green said in his Wednesday speech.