December 10, 2019 – The House of Representatives releases Articles of Impeachment.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters and Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney.
Chairman Adam Schiff: The Framers of the Constitution recognized that someday, a president might come to office who would abuse that office, betray the public trust and undermine national security to secure foreign help in his re-election and who would seek to abrogate of the power of Congress to hold him accountable. They recognize this danger and they prescribed a remedy and that remedy is impeachment.
It is an extraordinary remedy and one that I have been reluctant to recommend until the actions of President Trump gave Congress no alternative. We stand here today because the President’s continuing abuse of power left us no choice. To do nothing would make ourselves complicit in the President’s abuse of his high office, the public trust, and our national security.
The President’s misconduct is as simple and as terrible as this: President Trump solicited a foreign nation, Ukraine, to publicly announce investigations into his opponent and a baseless theory promoted by Russia, to help his re-election campaign. President Trump abused the power of his office by conditioning two official acts to get Ukraine to help his re-election: the release of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that nation desperately needed and a White House meeting with an ally trying to fend off Russian aggression. […]
The argument, ‘Why don’t you just wait?’ amounts to this: Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election? Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time? That is what that argument amounts to. […]
Ben Franklin said we have a republic, if we can keep it. The President and his men say you can’t keep it and Americans should just get over it. Americans don’t get to decide American elections any more, not by themselves, not without foreign help.
For the Members of Congress, this is not a question of fact because the facts are not seriously contested; it is rather a question of duty. The President’s oath of office appears to mean very little to him, but the articles put forward today give us a chance to show that we will defend the Constitution, and that our oath means something to us.
Bolding added. Full transcript below.
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