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House votes to kill Democrat’s resolution to impeach Trump

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

A resolution to impeach President Trump, from Representative Al Green, a Democrat from Texas, was killed by a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Four Massachusetts representatives voted in favor of the resolution.

By Kevin Freking Associated Press 

WASHINGTON — The House overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to kill a resolution from a liberal Democratic lawmaker to impeach President Trump as most Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the move.

Representative Al Green, Democrat of Texas, said Trump had associated his presidency with causes rooted in bigotry and racism. To back his claim accusing Trump of high misdemeanors, Green cited incidents such as Trump’s blaming both sides for violence at a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and his recent sharing of hateful, anti-Muslim videos posted online by a fringe British extremist group.

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After his resolution was read aloud, the House voted 364-58 to table the resolution.

All the no votes came from Democrats, and four Democratic lawmakers voted present. In all, 126 Democrats joined Republicans in voting to table Green’s effort in the GOP-led House.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, said in a statement shortly before the vote that while ‘‘legitimate questions have been raised about his fitness to lead this nation,’’ they argued ‘‘now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment.’’

Several Democratic lawmakers said they agreed that it’s premature to act before special counsel Robert Mueller’s team completes its investigation into Russian election meddling.

Representative Dan Kildee, Democrat of Michigan, said Democratic lawmakers cannot allow themselves to be drawn into a process ‘‘that’s not thoughtful or complete or might not even be the conclusion we ought to draw.’’

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‘‘We ought to let Mr. Mueller complete his full investigation rather than engage in what would essentially be a public relations stunt,’’ Kildee said. ‘‘This is a serious thing. It ought not to be done on a whim.’’

Green said on the House floor that he planned to take the road less traveled in seeking Trump’s impeachment. He’s convinced it’s a road worth traveling, but he said, ‘‘I ask that no one take this journey with me.’’

Afterward, Green said the vote would not deter him from trying again. He said he was already working on additional articles of impeachment.

‘‘I didn’t lobby anybody. I didn’t ask anybody, but I’m grateful for those who did vote with the Constitution. I assure you, it’s a process, and this was a step in the process,’’ Green said.

Pelosi has said any impeachment drive should wait until there’s evidence of an impeachable offense. Another problem for Democrats is that opposing Green’s resolution puts them at risk of angering the party’s rabidly anti-Trump voters. Some Democrats tried talking Green out of his plan. They did the same in October, when he proposed a similar resolution but never demanded a vote on it.

Despite the appeal from their top leaders, four members of Massachusetts’s House delegation voted to start debate on the articles of impeachment: Representatives Michael E. Capuano, Katherine Clark, Jim McGovern, and Seth Moulton.

“Taking steps to impeach a President is a gravely serious matter. Practically and politically, I think most of us can agree that passing articles of impeachment in this House isn’t realistic at this moment in our history. But sometimes, it’s more important to follow your heart than do the practical or political calculation,” said Capuano after the vote. “It’s time to have an open, honest debate on President Trump and his fitness for office.”

Moulton, who has frequently clashed with House Democratic leaders, said he voted to proceed to debate “because I believe the charges are legitimate and deserve a hearing. The timing of this resolution is poor; the legal argument could be stronger; and politically, advancing this now is inopportune. But when we vote, we should first and foremost consider the substance of the legislation, and here I agree with it.”

Victoria McGrane of the Globe staff contributed to this report.