Speaker Pelosi: “The times have found us – we must protect and defend our Constitution.” #WeThePeople

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry into the criminal acts of Donald J. Trump, President* of the United States.

Speaker Pelosi: “I am announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I am directing our six Committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.

The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law.

In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote: ‘The times have found us.’ The times found them to fight for and establish our democracy. The times have found us today, not to place ourselves in the same category of greatness as our Founders, but to place us in the urgency of protecting and defending our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. In the words of Ben Franklin, to keep our Republic.”

Remarks Announcing Impeachment Inquiry

September 24, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. Below are the Speaker’s remarks as delivered:

Speaker Pelosi. Good afternoon. Last Tuesday, we observed the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution on September 17.

Sadly, on that day, the Intelligence Community Inspector General formally notified the Congress that the Administration was forbidding him from turning over a whistleblower complaint. On Constitution Day. This is a violation of law.

Shortly thereafter, press reports began to break of a phone call by the President of the United States calling upon a foreign power to intervene in his election. This is a breach of his constitutional responsibilities.

The facts are these: the Intelligence Community Inspector General, who was appointed by President Trump, determined that the complaint is both of ‘urgent concern and credible,’ and its disclosure, he went on to say, that it ‘relates to one of the most significant and important of the Director of National Intelligence’s responsibilities to the American people.’

On Thursday, the Inspector General testified before the House Intelligence Committee, stating that the Acting Director of National Intelligence blocked him from disclosing the whistleblower complaint. This is a violation of the law.

The law is unequivocal. The DNI, it says, the Director of National Intelligence ‘shall’ provide Congress the full whistleblower complaint.

For more than 25 years, I have served on the Intelligence Committee – as a Member, as the Ranking Member, as part of the Gang of 4 even before I was in the Leadership.

I was there when we created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. That did not exist before 2004.

I was there ever earlier in 90’s when we wrote the whistleblower laws and continue to write them, to improve them to ensure the security of our intelligence and the safety of our whistleblowers.

I know what their purpose was, and we proceeded with balance and caution as we wrote the laws. I can say with authority, that the Trump Administration’s actions undermine both: our national security and our intelligence and our protections of whistleblowers – more than both.

This Thursday, the Acting DNI will appear before the House Intelligence Committee.

At that time, he must turn over the whistleblower’s full complaint to the Committee. He will have to choose whether to break the law or honor his responsibility to the Constitution.

On the final day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when our Constitution was adopted, Americans gathered on the steps of Independence Hall to await the news of the government our Founders had crafted.

They asked Benjamin Franklin, ‘What do we have: a republic or a monarchy?’ Franklin replied: ‘A republic, if you can keep it.’

Our responsibility is to keep it.

Our republic endures because of the wisdom of our Constitution, enshrined in three co-equal branches of government, serving as checks and balances on each other.

The actions taken to date by the President have seriously violated the Constitution – especially when the President says, ‘Article II says, I can do whatever I want.’

For the past several months, we have been investigating in our Committees and litigating in the courts, so the House can gather ‘all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article I powers, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity — approval of articles of impeachment.’

And this week, the President has admitted to asking the President of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The action of – the actions of the Trump Presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the President’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.

Therefore, today, I am announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I am directing our six Committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.

The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law.

Getting back to our Founders – in the darkest days of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote: ‘The times have found us.’ The times found them to fight for and establish our democracy. The times have found us today, not to place ourselves in the same category of greatness as our Founders, but to place us in the urgency of protecting and defending our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. In the words of Ben Franklin, to keep our Republic.

I thank our Chairmen – Chairman Nadler, Chairman Schiff. Chairman Nadler of Judiciary. Chairman Schiff of Intelligence. Chairman Engel of Foreign Affairs. Chairman Cummings of Oversight and Chairman Cummings I have been in touch with constantly. He is a master of so much but including, Inspectors General and whistleblowers. Congressman Richie Neal of the Ways and Means Committee. Congresswomen Maxine Waters of the Financial Services Committee.

And I commend all of our Members, our colleagues for their thoughtful, thoughtful approach to all of this – for their careful statements.

God bless them and God Bless America. Thank you all.

  5 comments for “Speaker Pelosi: “The times have found us – we must protect and defend our Constitution.” #WeThePeople

  1. JanF
    September 25, 2019 at 6:36 am

    Let’s do this: “Protect and defend our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

    Especially when the enemy of the Constitution is the sitting president.

  2. JanF
    September 25, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Rep. John Lewis, the “Conscience of the House”: “the time is now.”

    The turning point was the fresh allegations that proved to be a red line for House freshmen:

    Many Democrats, including Pelosi, had thought the public didn’t understand or care enough about Mueller’s findings to get behind divisive impeachment proceedings. Not even Trump’s stonewalling was enough.

    But that all changed late last week when Trump was reported to have asked Ukraine’s leader on a call to investigate work done for the country by Biden’s son.

    As Trump continued to not entirely deny the charge over the weekend, freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger sensed sentiment in her politically mixed Virginia district “pivot” from a “general pit of confusion” over the Mueller report — to clarity.

    “I saw a shift on the ground in my district,” said Spanberger, another author of the op-ed. “On the ground there was a change in the conversation. This is something new. It’s a new phase. This is a new type of allegation.”

  3. bfitzinAR
    September 25, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Goddess I hope I’m wrong. But I so fear I am right. Yes, twitler is guilty of all this and more. Definitely impeachable offenses practically from the day he walked in the WH door. But you don’t start war crime tribunals when the war criminals are still in power. Not if you want to survive. Apparently “showing him” is more important than survival. If I’m right. So I will continue to hope I’m wrong.

  4. bfitzinAR
    September 25, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I’m just hoping the plan is Hess and not Heydrich. Lot of people are gonna be hurt & die either way but Heydrich was scorched earth. What I’m seriously – like sick at my stomach, sick like 9/11 when I knew we were going to war with somebody and a lot more people were gonna be hurt and die – seriously afraid of is that it will be Hess for white people and Heydrich for BIPOC. And the more righteous rejoicing I see everywhere, the sicker I get. Cassandra should have just taken herself out. Nobody paid any attention to her anyway and by staying she had to watch what she knew was coming actually happen.

  5. JanF
    September 26, 2019 at 5:02 am

    Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas CD3), on her journey:

    September 25, 2019 Representative Sharice Davids issued the following statement on the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump:

    The people of Kansas’ Third District elected me to represent our community and our values. We expect our leaders to be thoughtful, to work hard and to make sure they have all the facts before they act. I carry that weight with me in all the decisions I make – whether it’s co-sponsoring a bill, or making a decision as consequential as whether to invoke Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution to pursue impeachment.

    I also carry the weight of my sworn oath as a member of Congress to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    After careful deliberation, I am supporting the House of Representatives taking the first step in an impeachment process, beginning an impeachment inquiry. Here’s why.

    On Monday, I called on the Trump Administration to turn over the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian government. The White House today released an approximation of that call, clearly showing that President Trump abused his power and invited foreign interference into our elections – the very basis of our democracy – for his own political gain. And this was all according to the version his Administration was willing to release to the public.

    While these developments are alarming enough on their own, it was also confirmed by the President that he was withholding military aid from Ukraine at the time of the call.

    I have long said that I trust my House colleagues on the committees of jurisdiction as they conduct oversight and investigate the Trump Administration. But these new allegations need to be investigated separate and apart from any other oversight being conducted by the House of Representatives.

    These allegations leave the House with no other option than to begin an impeachment inquiry, which allows us to use the full power of our chamber and all the tools at our disposal to uncover the truth. We must follow the facts, wherever they lead.

    I did not arrive at this decision lightly or without full deliberation. I listened closely to the Kansans who reached out to my office. I read and evaluated the White House’s version of the call in question. And I fully expect to read the whistleblower report that the Administration turned over to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees this evening.

    Ultimately, this is about the rule of law. Our country has laws to protect whistleblowers and to protect the security of our elections, both of which are fundamental to our democracy. It’s my responsibility as a member of Congress to uphold those laws and to protect the Constitution.

    It also remains my responsibility to deliver results for the people of Kansas – focusing on health care, infrastructure, constituent services and the issues that Kansans talk about at the kitchen table each night. I can and will continue my work in these areas while I uphold the oath I took when I was sworn into office.

    Let me be clear: Congress being compelled to open an impeachment inquiry is nothing to celebrate. This is a sad moment for our country, but it is the right thing to do.

    (Bolding added)

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