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Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are proving central to efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, reports the Hill. Black lawmakers say that’s the result of Trump repeatedly stirring racial controversies, from personally attacking two members of the caucus to casting equal blame on white supremacists and counterprotesters for fatal violence in Charlottesville, Va., last summer. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), former head of the CBC, said the bitter feelings originated well before Trump arrived in office, when the real estate mogul began raising doubts about former President Obama’s birthplace — and, by extension, his authority to be president. “I don’t know if the people around the country understand that he has launched … an assault against African-American people starting with his refusal to accept the first African-American president, by continuing to declare that he was from Kenya,” Cleaver said. “No other president in history has had to face that kind of criticism. “We’ve come to conclude that this is a part of his belief system.” Just under two-thirds of the 48-member CBC has backed impeachment in House floor votes forced by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), himself a CBC member. The CBC includes two senators, two nonvoting delegates and one Republican, Rep. Mia Love (Utah), who does not support impeaching Trump. CBC members made their disgust for Trump clear at Tuesday night’s State of the Union, where many pointedly refrained from clapping or shaking his hand — or skipped the event altogether. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) was positioned along the center aisle, but kept his distance as GOP colleagues nearby enthusiastically jostled to shake Trump’s hand on national television. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett (D) stood with her arms crossed as Trump walked past. Most CBC members, including the group’s leader, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), sat down well before Trump reached the dais and refrained from joining the raucous applause emanating from the GOP side of the chamber. And that’s just the reaction from CBC members who attended Trump’s State of the Union. More than half of the 14 House Democrats who boycotted the speech were members of the caucus. The articles of impeachment put forth by Green don’t allege Trump has committed a crime; instead, they assert that Trump has “brought the high office of president of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace and disrepute” and “has sown discord among the people of the United States.” Green’s articles cite Trump’s reported comments in an Oval Office meeting about immigration policy describing Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries,” the president’s equivocating response to the Charlottesville violence and Trump’s attacks on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Green argued that Trump is “legitimizing bigotry” by aggravating such controversies.