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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Articles of Impeachment Debate  CSPAN  December 18, 2019 9:59pm-12:00am EST

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last-minute situation, that could play in, but right now it doesn't. there is plenty of time to make sure biden can't run again, or the higher ups on the democrat chain will kick him out anyway. host: thank you all for calling in. we enjoy getting your reaction to the full debate. we will continue getting the reaction tomorrow morning on the washington journal from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. eastern time. the house is coming in at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. they are working on the trade agreement, the usmca. we are going to get two hours of your reaction to the two articles of impeachment that you saw today. by the way, everything we have covered when it comes to impeachment is available at c-span.org/impeachment. re-air will show you a
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of today's debate on impeachment. it begins with the reading of the articles. in the name of itself and of the people of the united states of america against donald john trump, president of the united states of america in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and iss demeaners. article 1, abuse of power. the house of representatives should have the soul power of .mpeachment in his conduct of the office of president of the united states, and in violation of his
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constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of president of the united states and to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, donald j. trump has abused the powers of the presidency in that using the powers of his high office, president trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, ukraine, in the 2020 united states presidential election. he did so through a scheme or a course of conduct that included soliciting the government of ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his re-election, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 united states presidential election to his advantage. .president trump also sought to pressure the government of ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official united states government acts of significant value to ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations.
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president trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. in so doing, president trump used the powers of the presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the united states and undermined the integrity of the united states democratic process. he thus ignored and injured the interests of the nation. president trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct through the following means, one, president trump, acting both directly and through his agents within and outside the united states government, corruptly solicited the government of ukraine to publicly announce investigations into, a, a political opponent, former vice president joseph r. biden jr. and, b, a discredited theory that ukraine, rather than russia, interfered in the 2016 united states presidential election. two, with the same corrupt motives, president trump, acting both directly and through his agents within and outside the united states government, conditioned two
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official acts on the public announcements that he had requested, a, the release of 391 million of united states taxpayer funds that congress had appropriated on a bipartisan basis for the purpose of providing vital military and security assistance to ukraine to oppose russian aggression and which president trump had ordered suspended, and b, a head of state meeting at the white house, which the president of ukraine sought to demonstrate continued united states support for the government of ukraine in the face of russian aggression. three, faced with the public revelation of his actions, president trump ultimately released the military and security assistance to the government of ukraine, but has persisted in openly and corruptly urging and soliciting ukraine to undertake investigations for his personal political benefit. these actions were consistent with president trump's previous invitations of foreign interference in united states elections. in all of this, president trump abused the powers of the
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presidency by ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests to obtain an improper personal political benefit. he has also betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections. wherefore president trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. president trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the united states. article 2, obstruction of congress. the constitution provides that the house of representatives "shall have the sole power of mpeachment" and that the president shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
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in his conduct of the office of president of the united states and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of president of the united states and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the united states, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, donald j. trump has directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the house of representatives pursuant to its "sole power of impeachment." president trump has abused the powers of the presidency in a manner offensive to, and subversive of, the constitution, in that the house of representatives has engaged in an impeachment inquiry focused on president trump's corrupt solicitation of the government of ukraine to interfere in the 2020 united states presidential election. as part of this impeachment inquiry, the committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from
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various executive branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials. in response, without lawful cause or excuse, president trump directed executive branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. president trump thus interposed the powers of the presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the house of representatives and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the "sole power of impeachment" vested by the constitution in the house of representatives. president trump abused the powers of his high office through the following means, one, directing the white house to defy a lawful subpoena by withholding the production of documents sought therein by the committees. two, directing other executive branch agencies and offices to defy lawful subpoenas and withhold the production of documents and records from the committees, in response to which the department of state, office of management and
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budget, department of energy, and department of defense refused to produce a single document or record. three, directing current and former executive branch officials not to cooperate with the committees in response to which nine administration officials defied subpoenas for testimony, namely john michael "mick" mulvaney, robert b. blair, john a. eisenberg, michael ellis, preston wells griffith, russell t. vought, michael duffey, brian mccormack, and t. ulrich brechbuhl. these actions were consistent with president trump's previous efforts to undermine united states government investigations into foreign interference in united states elections. through these actions, president trump sought to arrogate to himself the right to determine the propriety, scope, and nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own conduct, as well as the unilateral prerogative to deny any and all information to the house of representatives in the exercise of its "sole power of impeachment."
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in the history of the republic, no president has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the house of representatives to investigate "high crimes and misdemeanors." this abuse of office served to cover up the president's own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment, and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the house of representatives. in all of this, president trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the united states. wherefore, president trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to the constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. president trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and
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disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the united states. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 767, the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on judiciary is adopted. the resolution shall be debatable for six hours equally quided and controlled by the chair and -- divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the committee on ojudiciary or their respective designees. the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler, and the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, each will control three hours. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material on h.res. 755. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished speaker of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady, the distinguished speaker, is recognized for one
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minute. the speaker: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding, for his tremendous leadership in helping us honor the constitution of the united states. i also extend my gratitude to chairman schiff, who will be presiding later in the day. my colleagues, this morning and every morning when we come together, members rise and pledge allegiance to the flag. every day, all across america, children in schools, members of the military, officials and those civically engaged also pledge allegiance to the flag. let us recall what that pledge says. i pledge allegiance to the flag f the united states of america and to the republican -- and to the republic for which it
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stands indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the republic for which it stands is what we are here to talk about today. a republic, if we can keep it. we gather today under the dome of this temple of democracy to exercise one of the most solemn powers that this body can take -- the impeachment of the president of the united states. no member, regardless of party or politics, comes to congress to impeach a president, but every one of us, as our first act as a member of congress, stood on this historic house floor before our beautiful american flag and raised our hands in this sacred oath, i do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help me god. for 230 years, members have taken that sacred oath which
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makes us custodians of the constitution. when our founders declared independence, established our new nation, they crafted a system of government unlike anyone has ever seen before. a republic, starting with the sacred words, we the people. for centuries, americans have fought and died to defend democracy for the people. but very sadly now, our founders' vision of a republic is under threat from actions from the white house. that is why today, as speaker of the house, i solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the united states. if we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. it is tragic that the president's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. he gave us no choice. what we are discussing today is the established fact that the president violated the
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constitution. it is a matter of fact that the president is an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections, the basis of our democracy. hundreds of historians, legal scholars, and formal prosecutors, regardless of party, have stated that the president committed impeachable offenses. since today is a national civics lesson, though a sad one, i submit these documents for the record and commend them for students to study. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the speaker: thank you, madam speaker. what we are discussing today is established fact that the president, again, violated the constitution. it is a matter of fact that the president is, again, an ongoing threat to our national security. and the testimony of decorated war heroes, distinguished diplomats and patriotic career people over the past weeks have told us this.
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the president used the power of his public office to obtain an improper personal political benefit at the expense of america's national security. when the president weakens a democratic ally that is advancing american security interests by fighting an american adversary, the president weakens america. this abuse of power also jeopardizes the integrity of our elections. all americans agree that american voters should choose our president, not some foreign government. the founders understood that it is profoundly corrosive for our democracy for a president to invite interference in our elections. as george washington, our nation's patriot under whose gaze we stand today warned, history and experience proves that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.
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george washington. sadly, the american people have witnessed further wrongs of the president which necessitate the second article of impeachment, obstruction of congress. when the president's wrongdoing was revealed, he launched an unprecedented, indiscriminate and categorycal campaign of defiance and obstruction. never before in the history of our nation have we seen a president declare and act as if he's above the law. the president goes even so far as to say and act of this absurdity when he says article 2 says i can do whatever i want. no, it doesn't. that recklessness is a profound violation of the constitution and our republic, which endured because of our system of separation of power, three co-equal branches, each a check and balance on the other, a republic, again, if we can keep it. the founders' great fear of a
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rogue or corrupt president is the very reason why they enshrined impeachment in the constitution. as one founder, william davey of north carolina, warned, unless the constitution contained an impeachment provision, a president might spare no efforts or means, whatever, to get himself re-elected. another founder, george mason, insisted that the president who procured his appointment in the first instance through improper and corrupt acts might repeat his guilt and return to power. we in congress must stand up and make clear to the american people and to all people that this body still stands by the principles enshrined in the constitution and defended by generations of americans. last week in observance of the 75th anniversary of the battle of the bulge, members traveled
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to that hallowed ground to express our gratitude to the heroes of freedom who sacrificed everything to secure victory of freedom over tyranny, not just for america, but for the world. the veterans of that battle who were there, in their 90's, told us how after the war was won, the europeans to whom they liberated would ask, why did you risk us? you don't know us? and give your lives -- lives to save us, we're not americans. and our men would say, we came here to fight for you, not because you are americans, but because we are americans. as our beloved chairman, elijah cummings, and oversight committee chair, said when annoyancing support for this action, quote, when the history books are written about this tumultuous era, i want them to show that i was among those in the house of representatives who stood up to lawlessness and
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tyranny. he also said, almost prophetically, when we are dancing with the angels, the question will be, did we -- what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy in tact? elijah, as you know, has since passed on. now he's dancing with the angels. and i know that he and all of us here are very proud of the moral courage of members, want to honor the vision of our founders for a republic, the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform to defend it, and the aspirations of our children to live freely within it. today we are here to defend democracy for the people. may god bless america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time.
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the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. and we are here today to enter into a debate, this should surprise no one. this is not -- this has not been a surprise and it's not even something that we would not have thought about. from the very moment that the majority party in this house won the, the inevitability that we would be here today was only a matter of what date they would schedule it. nothing else. in fact, how it even began to look even further was on september 24, the speaker announced an impeachment inquiry before even seeing the call transcript that we're going to hear so much about today. you know, it's not about what this body can do in its constitutional oath. and there's been a lot of constitutional and founders thrown around and will be all day today. but there's one thing that i will mention all along and that is also the founders were very concerned about a partisan
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impeachment in which politics or the majority who have their strength can do what they want to do irregardless of any facts. in fact, i've said it before and i will say it again. i do not believe, no matter what was said today and what has been said, this is not a solemn occasion. when you go looking for something for three years, and especially this year since january, you ought to be excited when you found it. but they can't. because i know what has now happened. it took me last night but i was thinking about it. why do we keep calling this a solemn occasion when you've been wanting to do this ever since the gentleman was elected? mr. president came forward and did what he saw fit for the american people, but yet they wanted to impeach him. now i know. the reason they wanted to is now they realize, when i told them and have been telling them for the last few weeks that the clock and the calendar are terrible masters. the clock and the calendar are terrible masters. they do not care about anything except getting the time done and the calendar fixed. they do not care about facts. they do not care about time. and one day the clock and the calendar will hang along this
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body in a very detrimental way. how do i know this? because one of our members said on the night she was worn in, we're going to impeach. well, you know the rest. in may of 2019, al green said, i'm concerned if we don't impeach this president, he will get re-elected. that's probably the most prescient thing said by the majority in the last year. they said, we can't beat him if we don't impeach him. there's a reason behind this impeachment. even speaker pelosi said it would be dangerous to leave it to voters to determine whether president trump stays in office. really? after we just said the pledge of allegiance, we go back to the speaker's own words and said it would be dangerous to leave it to the voters? i will tell you right now, madam speaker, we on the republican side have no problem taking our case to the majority and to the people of this country, because they elected donald trump and it is a matter -- matter for the vote rts, not this house, not in -- voters, not this house, not in this way and not in the way this is being done. it has trampled everything this
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house believes in. i said it yesterday and i believe it to be this true today. i will fight this on process which has been deplorable, to use a word of the majority. it has been awful. the calendar and the clock make it impress thave we actually do it quickly -- impressive that we actually do it quickly. we don't care about rules and minority days, we don't care about giving opportunity for witnesses to call, because the chairman gets to determine what is relevant. wow, that's pretty good. let the accuser determine what is relevant to the one being accused. the people of america see through this. the people of america understand due process and they understand when it is being trampled in the people's house. you see, it's also not a matter of process which will be discussed today, it's a matter of actual facts. i will fight the facts all day long. because what we found here today is a at -- is a president who did not do as being charged. they had to go to abuse of power, this amorphous term that you're going to hear many arguments about how that abuse of power -- except for one thing, the call itself, the two parties say no pressure.
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nothing was ever done to get the money. in fact, they didn't even know the money was held. but there is something that very much bothers me about the facts. there were five meetings, we'll hear about those today. in which it was never a linkage -- there was never a linkage made. there was one witness that is depended on over 600 times in the majority's report. that in the end, after questions, had to say, that was not presumption of what was happening. you see, this is an impeachment based on presumption. this is an impeachment basically a poll-tested impeachment on what sells to the american people. today's going to be a lot of things. what it is not is fair. what it is not is about the truth. what is true today, and i just heard it just a moment ago in the articles themselves where it said, and the speaker i believe talked about this, is, well, if the president weakened a foreign leader. you know what the truth of the matter is, madam speaker? the most interesting and deplorable thing that i've heard over the last few weeks? is the actual attack by the
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majority on president zelensky. because they realize the whole crux of their case is if he was not pressured, their house of cards falls and by the way it's already fell. but if we can't pressure, show pressure, then we either have to call him a liar, a world leader, or we have to make up names to call him. and that's exactly what happened in judiciary committee when a member of the majority actually said, he's acting or they compared him to a battered wife. that's below the dignity of this body. to take a world leader and when he doesn't make the case for you, to belittle him. as will be often said by the majority, that they're in the middle of a hot war with russia. you see, president trump actually did give them offensive weapons. president trump did not did nothing wrong. we're going to talk about that all day long today. we went on process and we went on facts. why? because the american people will see through this. before i close this first part, i will have to recognize that even the senate, the minority leader in the senate, recognizes that the house did not do their job. because he can't make the case to his own members, so he's
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having to ask for witnesses. ask for more time. you see, even yesterday, it was sort of funny, i found it hilarious that the minority leader in the senate went out and did a press conference and said, they did not -- my witnesses, they -- they denied my witnesses, theydy inside my pro-- they denied my process. welcome to the club. that's what's happened here for the last three months. we're going to talk a lot about impeachment and the president and two articles of impeachment today. abuse of power, because they can't actually pin anything of factual basis on him. the president did nothing wrong in this issue. and then they're going to talk about obstruction of congress. you know, obstruction of congress, as i've before, is like pet lent children saying, we didn't get our way when we didn't ask the right way and we didn't try to go after and make a case. you know why, madam speaker, the clock and the calendar are terrible masters and the majority will own that problem today. because to the clock and the calendar, facts don't matter. the promises to the base matter. and today is a promise kept for
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the majority. not a surprise. with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: madam speaker, the house of representatives must now consider two articles of impeachment against president trump. the first article charges that the president used his public office to coerce a foreign government into attacking his political rival. the second article charges that the president took extreme and unprecedented steps to obstruct our investigation into his conduct. taken together, the two articles charge that president trump placed his private political interests above our national security, above our elections and above our system of checks and balances. after months of investigation, there can be no serious debate about the evidence at hand.
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on july 25, when he spoke to president zelensky of ukraine, president trump had the upperhand. the president, through his agents, had already demanded that ukraine announce an investigation of his political opponents. ukraine needed our help, both military aid, which had been appropriated by congress because of our security interests, and the noble office meeting, to show the world that -- oval office meeting, to show the world that the united states continues to stand with ukraine against russian aggression. president trump should have been focused on the interests of the american people on that call. instead he prioritized his private political interests. president trump asked president zelensky for a favor. he wanted ukraine to announce two bogus investigations. one into former vice president biden, then his leading opponent in the 2020 election, and another, to advance a conspiracy theory that ukraine, not russia, attacked our elections in 2016.
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neither request was premised on any legitimate national security or foreign policy interests. one was intended to help president trump conceal the truth about the 2016 election. the other was intended to help him gain an advantage in the 2020 election. after the call, president trump ratcheted up the pressure. he deployed his private attorney and other agency -- agents, some acting far outside the regular channels of diplomacy, to make his desires clear. there would be no aid and no meeting until ukraine announced the sham investigations. to our founding generation, abuse of power was a specific well-defined offense. a president may not misuse the powers of the presidency to obtain an improper personal benefit. the evidence shows that president trump did exactly that. for this alone he should be impeached. but the first article also identifies two aggravating
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factors. when president trump conditioned military aid on a personal favor, he harmed america's national security. and when he demanded that a foreign government target his domestic political rival, he took steps to corrupt our next election. to the founders, these offenses clearly merited removal from office. the president faces a second article of impeachment for his efforts to obstruct our investigation of his misconduct. the constitution grants the sole power of impeachment to the house of representatives. within our system of checks and balances, the president may not decide for himself what constitutes a valid impeachment inquiry. nor may he ignore lawful subpoenas or direct others to do so. many presidents, including president trump, have asserted privileges and other observations to specific subpoenas. but -- objections to specific subpoenas. but only president trump hats ordered the categorical defines -- has ordered the categorical
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defyance of a congressional investigation. the president is not above the law and he should be impeached for them as -- for this as well. congress cannot wait for the next election to address this misconduct. president trump has -- this is not the first time he's solicited a foreign interference in an election, has been exposed and has attempted to obstruct the resulting investigation. we cannot rely on the next election as a remedy for presidential misconduct, when the president threatens the very integrity of that election. he has shown us he will continue to put his selfish interests above the good of the country. we must act without delay. by his actions, president trump has broken his oath of office. his conduct continues to undermine our constitution and threaten our next election. his actions warrant his impeachment and demand his removal from office. i urge my colleagues to support these articles and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia.
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mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. it is my pleasure at this time to yield three minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. sensenbrenner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. sensenbrenner: madam speaker, i rise in opposition to impeaching the president. the constitution says that any civil officer, including the president, may be impeached for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. unlike the nixon and clinton cases, there are no allegations that the president has committed a crime. we've had almost three years of nonstop investigations. we've had the mueller report, we've had the schiff investigation, we've had the nadler investigation and at no time is there any evidence that indicates that donald j. trump violated any criminal statute of the united states. . so why are we here? we're here because the majority caucus, the democratic caucus,
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has been hijacked by the radical left. they have wanted to reverse the course of the 2016 election ever since donald j. trump won that election. so let's look at these two phony articles of impeachment. first of all, abuse of power. the phone call in question had the president say, our country has been through a lot. i want you to do us a favor. not me a favor. us a favor. and there he was referring to our country, the united states of america, not a personal political gain. he was not afraid to let this transcript go public, and he released the transcript almost immediately after the call. now, the second article of impeachment, obstruction of congress. it basically says that unless the president gives us
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everything we want and when we want it, that he's committed an impeachable offense. that's a bunch of bunk. the president has certain individual and privileges by virtue of his office. whenever there's been a dispute between the executive and legislative branches heretofore, they've gone to court. and the supreme court a couple weeks ago said they would take jurisdiction over deciding whether the president has to comply with one subpoena relating to his tax returns. now, here, the democrats have been bent to impeach the president of the united states before the court decides this. and this means that there's a rush job to do this. and why is there? because they want to influence the 2020 elections. and they spent three years doing it. they spent millions of taxpayers' dollars, including
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the mueller report, putting together this impeachment, and they also have had this congress wrapped around impeachment and not doing their jobs until the dam broke this week. stop this charade. vote no, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, the gentleman from wisconsin knows full well the president asserted no privileges here. he simply ordered complete defiance of the impeachment inquiry. i now yield two minutes to the gentlelady from pennsylvania, ms. scanlon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. ms. scanlon: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, chairman nadler, for your leadership, as we navigate this challenging time, not just for our committee and congress, but for our country. it's with profound sadness that i stand here today and support these articles of impeachment. president trump's behavior is exactly what our founders feared most. they knew that with the awesome
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power of the presidency came the risk of a president abusing that power for personal gain. they were particularly concerned about an executive who became entangled with foreign governments, corrupted our elections, or sought to avoid consequences for his own misconducts in office. that is -- conduct in office. that's why they included impeachment in the constitution to protect our republic. our colleagues across the aisle have claimed we're impeaching the president because we don't like him, because -- but this moment is about more than disagreement with the president's policies or personality. those issues belong in the voting booth. our task here is not to judge the president himself. instead, we must judge his conduct and whether his actions have undermined our constitution. the president has committed the highest of high crimes under our constitution. he used the highest office in our government and taxpayer dollars to pressure a foreign
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country to interfere in our lkses. he undermined our national -- our elections. he undermined our national security and when he got caught, he tried to cover it up, obstructing our investigation and refusing to give witnesses. this is not of the people. a government where the president pressures a foreign country to undermine our elections is not by the people. and a government where the president puts his own interests before the country is not for the people. this isn't complicated. you know it. i know it. the american people know it. president trump's wrongdoing and the urgent threat that his actions present to our next election and our democracy leaves us no principled alternative but to support these articles of impeachment. our constitution, our country, and our children depend upon it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back.
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the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i wish, as the gentlelady just said, i wish they would examine the factual conduct but i guess that's not going to happen. i yield to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. johnson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. the founders of this country warned us against a single party impeachment, because they ar it had would bitterly and irreparablely affect our nation. in the years of this republic, there has never been a single impeachment than the one being used today. our colleagues have weaponized to nullify the votes of 63 million americans who elected president donald j. trump this is not about a phone call or ukraine or use of executive privilege. you have to remember that 95 of the democrats on this floor today voted to impeach donald trump before the july 25 phone call ever happened between president trump and president zelensky and not only is this a single party impeachment, it's
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also evidence-free. after all their herculean efforts, they could only come up with two short articles of impeachment. the democrats know there is zero direct evidence in these proceedings to show that president trump engaged in any abuse of power. as you hear today, their entire case is based on hearsay, speculation, conjecture, and there is not a single fact witness to support their baseless allegations. the democrats' second claim is that president trump obstructed congress by simply doing what virtually every other president in the modern era has done and that is to assert, mr. chairman, a legitimate executive privilege, which protects the separation of powers. you know what, if they disagreed with that, the democrats could and should have simply gone a few blocks away to a federal court to get an expedited court order compelling the extra documents and information they requested. that's what's always been done in the past, but they didn't do that here because these democrats don't have time for it. they are trying to meet their
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own arbitrary, completely reckless timeline to take down a president that they loathe. the real abuse of power is on the part of the house democrats. they have feverishly produced and pursued this impeachment 20 times faster than the impeachment investigation of bill clinton. they are trying to reach their predetermined political outcome and along the way they have steamrolled over a constitutionally guaranteed due process and the federal rules of civil procedure. this should fail. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, the gentleman knows that impeachment was put into the constitution as a defense of the republic in between elections. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from washington, ms. jayapal. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jayapal: mr. speaker, this is a day of accountability and defending our democracy. the facts in front of us are
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clear. this president, donald j. trump, coerced a fragile foreign ally to investigate his political opponent and interfere in our elections and he leveraged critically needed connelly approved military aid to ukraine. the president's allies want to claim he did this because he cared about corruption. but if president trump truly cared about corruption, then he would have listened to the talking points that were prepared by the national security council on anti-corruption. he did not. in fact, on those two calls with president zelensky he never mentioned the word corruption. he did not abide by the department of defense's own recommendation that ukraine had passed all the anti-corruption benchmarks and he didn't listen to the unanimous conclusion of all of his top advisors that he must release that aid to ukraine. he did release the aid in 2017
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and 2018, but not in 2019. why? because in 2019, vice president joe biden was running for president. because this is not hearsay. we have a responsibility. the president told us himself on national television exactly what he wanted from the phone call with president zelensky. he came onto the white house lawn and he said, i wanted president zelensky to open an investigation into the bidens. he solicited foreign interference before. he is doing it now, and he will do it again. the president is the smoking gun. our founders, mr. chairman -- mr. speaker, entrusted us with the awesome responsibility of protecting our democracy which gets its power, not from the bloodlines of monarchs, but from the votes of we the people. without that we are no longer a democracy. we are a monarchy or a dictatorship. and so today, to uphold my oath
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to constitution and country, i will vote to impeach donald j. trump. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i also remind my chairman impeachable was never a weapon in between elections that you could never win. i yield two minutes to mr. conaway. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conaway: impeachment is the greatest item that we in congress could consider. the decision to move impeachment is so consequential it's only been done three times previously in our nation's history, all based on legitimate evidence of criminal behavior. unfortunately, many of my colleagues diminished which should be a solemn and grave proceeding and made it into a circus. they have been intended on impeaching the president since they took office. they are motivated by hatred by president trump. the impeachment today is the next step to remove them from office. the investigation was unnecessarily held behind
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closed doors in a room designed to be -- as a room to share classified information. nothing classified was shared during these meetings, but the result of this decision was that most members of congress and all americans were blocked from hearing the facts for themselves. chairman schiff repeatedly withheld crucial information from the republicans, including the ability for anyone to speak with the whistleblower. he was even called out by beral media outlets by telling falsehoods. republicans were not allowed to call witnesses or make basic par elementary motions. -- basic parliamentary motions. we have not proved that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. if there were criminal activity, as many of my democrat colleagues claim, then why are there no claims listed in the articles of impeachment?
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we are turning impeachment into platecal weapon. this impeachment scheme is nothing more than an attempt to conduct a taxpayer funded opposition research and damage a president's electability heading into 2020. the american people see right through this charade and are fed up. it's time for this madness to stop and for us to get back to the important work that the american people sent us here to do. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. lieu. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lieu: thank you, chairman nadler, for your leadership. let's start by making this very simple. no one in america can do what donald trump did and get away with it. no american elected official can call up a foreign government and ask for an investigation of a political opponent. no member of congress can call up a foreign official and ask for help in our re-election complain. if we did that, we're likely to get indicted. no one is above the law, and
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the constitution is the supreme law of the land. i first swore an oath to the constitution when i joined the united states air force on active duty. an oath i took was not to a political party or to a president or to a king. it was a document that has made america the greatest nation on earth and that document contains a safeguard for when the president's abuse of power is so extreme that warrants impeachment. we are not here because of policy disputes. why disagree -- while i disagree with the president, i acknowledge that he has a right to restrict a number of refugees into our country. he has the right to eliminate a number of environmental executive orders. he has a right to sign a bill that gives tax breaks. but they do not have a right to interfere into elections. it's illegal. that's not what the voters elected him to do. we will not stand for it. the president's actions in this case were particularly insidious because he also used
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our government for his private gain. he conditioned taxpayer funded military aid in a critical white house meeting with the ukrainian president under the requirement that they publicly announce a investigation into his opponent and by harming ukrainian national security, the president also harmed u.s. national security. and then the president solicited foreign interference again on the south lawn of the white house when he again asked ukraine to investigate his political opponent and then he asked china, our pier competitor, to do the same -- our peer competitor, to do the same. that abuse of power is not acceptable. whether or not the senate convicts, the house has an independent duty to do the right thing. that's why we have passed over 275 bipartisan bills that are stuck in the senate. whether impeaching or legislating, we'll continue to be faithful to the constitution, regardless what the senate may or may not do. impeachment is a form of deterrence. our children are watching.
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no president ever wants to be impeached. and whether donald trump leaves in one month, one year, or five years, this impeachment is permanent. it will follow him around for the rest of his life and history books will record it. people will know why we impeached. it's all very simple. it is very simple. no one is above the law. not our commander in chief. not our president. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time it's my pleasure to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mchenry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mchenry: i thank my colleague. in 2016, 63 million americans went to the polls and elected donald trump president of the united states. house democrats have been trying to overturn the election ever since. in fact, they've tried five additional times before the one before us, including the vote in may of 2017. just five months into his term. in january of this year, house democrats took control of this
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chamber and they were faced with a choice. they could use the tools of the majority to pursue legitimate priorities of the american people, policies that kim pact their lives, or -- that can impact their lives, or they can use their tools town due the -- undo the 2016 election. they made their choice. they've issued more subpoenas than bills have been signed into law. that tells us all we need to know about this congress. and that party. rather than launch a legitimate investigation, democrats turn to focus groups to workshop their language, to see if they could sell this to the american people. and the american people have rejected it. instead of negotiating with the executive branch, for instance, and allowing the courts to resolve any legitimate disputes, house democrats rushed an impeachment vote. so here we are, 12 weeks later. voting whether to impeach the president based off the thinnest record in modern history. it's no surprise that the senate is already asking for additional witnesses and more documents and real evidence. the body of evidence is weak and
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woefully insufficient for impeachment. and with that, i yield back on this sad day for this institution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. the speaker pro tempore: mr. raskin is recognized. mr. raskin: thank you, mr. speaker. american elections belong to the american people. not the american president and not foreign powers. no president may cheat the people by working with foreign governments to steal from us, a free and fair election -- from us a free and fair election. and no president who attempts it may cover up that cheating by systematically obstructing congress in our work. article 2 of the constitution does not authorize the president to do whatever he wants. the reason we have a constitution is to keep government officials from doing whatever they want. if we the people lose the certainty of free and fair elections to presidential
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corruption and foreign manipulation, then we lose our democracy itself. the most precious inheritance we have received from prior generations that pledge their sacred honor and gave everything they had to defend it. the struggle for democracy is the meaning of america. that is why we remain the last best hope of a world ravaged by authoritarianism, violence and corruption. we must act now to protect our elections and safeguard constitutional democracy for the enormous and unprecedented challenges that still lie ahead of us. i yield back, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time it's my pleasure to yield a minute and a half to the gentlewoman from west virginia. mrs. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition of h.r. 755. today is a disappointing day.
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it is the day my colleagues from across the aisle cast the vote that they have penalty is the last three years obsessing over. the vote to impeach our duly elected president. there are two charges claimed by house democrats and there is zero cause for either. while president trump has led, our country has thrived. and washington liberals have failed. despite the commitment of many of our colleagues to obstruct the trump administration's agenda at every turn, our country continues to succeed. in this body, however, we have not been able to deliver on what americans want and need. we still have not finished securing our border. the opioid epidemic still rages in our communities. our infrastructure is still in dire need of an overhaul. and we still have not reached a bipartisan resolution on drug pricing. if congress hadn't spent the
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last year stuck in a divisive, ugly, partisan impeachment debacle, think of what we could have done. the lives that could have been saved, the communities that could have been improved, the crisis on our southern border ended, and the positive work that we should do for our country. but we didn't. all because of divisive political theatrics. congress can do better than this and america deserves better. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time and -- the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time and the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i rise in support of the articles of impeachment against donald j. trump, the 45th president of the united states. mr. speaker, no one runs for congress to impeach a president. but this president has left us no choice. president trump abused the enormous powers of his office when he solicited foreign interference for the purpose of helping him in his re-election campaign in 2020. the president betrayed our
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national security and undermined the security of our elections when he put his own personal political interests ahead of the interests of our country. he tried to cheat to win re-election. and this wasn't an attack on vice president biden. this was an attack on our democracy. and if we do not hold the president accountable today, we will no longer live in a democracy. we will live in a dictatorship where any future president will be free to abuse their office in order to get re-electioned. today every member of this chamber faces a choice. whether to do what the constitution demands and the evidence requires, or to turn a blind eye to the president's grave misconduct. a blind eye to the overwhelming evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors. to my friends on the other side of the aisle i say this, this is not about making history. this is about holding a lawless president accountable and the way our framers intended -- in the way our framers sbebleded. this is a time to put our -- intended. this is a time put our country over your political party. do not seek safety in the high grass of the vote against these articles. we are all americans. show the american people the
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devotion to your country is more powerful to your loyalty to your political party. you auto -- united we can defend our democracy from all enemies, foreign and domestic. divided, we risk losing our democrat sifment all you have to do is look at the evidence -- democracy. all you have to do is look at the evidence. it will leave you with one answer. the president of the united states must be impeached. remember these facts. he tried to cheat, he got caught, he confessed and he obstructed the investigation into his misconduct. for our democracy, for our constitution, for the people you represent and for all who will inherit our country from us, i pray you will do the right thing. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. at this point it gives me pleasure to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized, mr. rogers. mr. rogers: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in complete and total support of president trump. the matter before the house today is based solely on a fundamental hatred of our president. it's a sham, a witch hunt and
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it's tantamount to a coup against the dual elected president of the united states -- duly elected president of the united states. this is a sad day for our nation when one political party, along with their cohorts and the deep state in the main street media, try to hijack our constitution. the democrat majority has irresponsibly turned the impeachment process no a political weapon. something that -- into a political weapon. something that republicans refused to do when our base was calling for the impeachment of president obama. it is well past time for the house to move beyond this hoax and put our nation first. that's exactly what president trump is doing. the united states has record low unemployment, historic performance in the stock market, president trump is rewriting failed trade deals of the past to put america first. he's rebuilding our military. he helped create the space force and the list goes on. i implore my colleagues to end this spectacle now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i'm
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hearing a lot from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle combept a defense of president trump's -- except a defense of president trump's conduct which is indefensible. i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: some say this impeachment is about eight lines in a call transcript. but there is so much more. this is about a scheme that lasted months and involved dozens of trump administration officials. look at the evidence. look at the direct evidence. text messages, emails, calls and meetings, way back in may. the president told his team, talk to rudy giuliani. the president's message -- no white house meeting unless ukraine helped him in the 2020 election. ambassador sondland said there was a prereck we is -- prerequisite of investigation into the bidens and announcement of investigations wasn't deliverable. ambassador volcker said the most important thing for the ukrainian president to do was to
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commit toon investigation of the bidens -- commit to an investigation of the bidens. just before the july 25 call, volcker told the ukrainians, assuming president z convince trump he will investigate, we will nail down a date for a visit to washington. the direct evidence kept coming after the call. more texts, more emails, more calls. all with the same message. if ukraine didn't announce an investigation into the president's political rival, then they wouldn't get the white house meeting that they had been promised and they wouldn't get the aid that they needed in their war against russia. american presidential power comes from the people. through elections. and the constitution requires that we protect those elections. but when the president abused his power to solicit foreign interference, he was cheating american voters before they even had a chance to vote. president trump's actions force us to protect our elections and the constitution. i urge my colleagues to defend
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the constitution, support these articles of impeachment, and remind the world that in america no one is above the law. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i would remind this whole body that it is more than eight lines. in fact, there's four facts. no pressure, no conditionality, they did nothing to get it and they got the money. with that, i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. spano: i rise in opposition to this political effort to remove president trump from office. i'm not surprised this day has come, but i am disappointed. disappointed because impeachment is one of the most consequential decisions that we can make in this body. and this impeachment is based purely on partisan motives. speaker pelosi said we shouldn't go down this path unless there was something compelling, overwhelming and bipartisan. because of how divisive it would be. unfortunately it's clear the majority has had laser focus on one thing for three years -- impeaching the president. the majority's failed to deliver for the american people. they failed to pass a budget on time.
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failed to pass the spending bills on time. and failed to deliver bipartisan solutions that will actually help improve the lives of americans. but the american people see through this sad charade for what it is. an attempt town do the 2016 election based on hearsay and opinion, not fact. the transcript of the call showed no conditions were placed on the aid. president trump and zelensky have said there was no pressure. and ukraine received the aid without taking any actions. the constitution is clear. the president may only be impeached for committing treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. no where in the two articles of impeachment today does it arling that -- argue that the president has committed any crime under the law. this is not overwhelming. it is not compelling. it is not bipartisan. but the speaker has -- she was right in one way. this is incredibly divisive and has lowered the bar for what future presidents will face. i strongly oppose the articles before us today and hope that we will finally move past this nightmare and get to work to
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deliver results for the american people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, the evidence is clear that president trump took advantage of ukraine's vulnerability and abused the powers of his office to pressure ukraine to help his re-election campaign. this is the highest of high crimes and president trump must be held to account. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. correa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. correa: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as a member of homeland security committee, i know -- the homeland security committee, i know first-hand the dangers that foreign interference in our elections present to our democracy. as a member of congress, it is my sworn duty to ensure that our nation is secure from all threats, foreign and domestic. and congress has a constitutional job to investigate allegations of misconduct by the executive branch, including the united states president. the constitution is the highest
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law of the land, created a system of checks and balances to prevent the creation of a king. congress is a co-equal branch of our nation's government, equal with the presidency, with duties that are given to us by the framers. this is a very sad day and i do not take impeachment lightly. yet i'm here to do my job as a member of congress. [speaking foreign language]
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[speaking spanish] and today, i pray for god for his guidance in uniting our great nation. and with that, the gentleman from new york, i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will be required to provide a translation of your remarks. the gentleman from new york. do you reserve, mr. nadler? mr. nadler: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. collins is recognized. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd just have to disagree with my chairman. facts are not disputed. they are disputed not by the
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minority but by the witnesses who testified. with that i yield a minute to the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to the democrats' sham process, which makes a mockery of the rules of the house and is frankly dangerous to this country. since day one, the democrats have made it clear that they wanted to move towards impeachment well before any of the accusations took place. what democrats, unfortunately, don't recognize is the damage that this will cause for our political institutions and america's trust for years to come. every american should be concerned that speaker pelosi doesn't trust our citizens to let them decide who should lead our great country. this impeachment process isn't focused on strengthening and protecting our political foundations but rather shaping public opinion. i ask you, is it worth that?
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not only is the process alarming, but it's wasting taxpayers' dollars and valuable time that elected officials could be using to move our country forward. that includes securing our borders, addressing student loan debt, bringing down the cost of health care and prescription drugs. i urge all of my colleagues, while considering these articles, ask themselves whether this is truly being done for the good of the country. thank you, madam -- mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. mr. nadler: i'd remind the gentleman that after recovering millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains, the mueller report was actually a net plus for the taxpayers. i yield to the gentleman from colorado, mr. neguse, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. neguse: thank you, mr. speaker, and i want to thank chairman nadler and speaker pelosi for their leadership and
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their moral courage. today, the house of representatives is debating whether to take the rare step of voting to impeach a president for only the third time in our country's history. unfortunately, president trump has left us no choice. the fact of the matter is that the president abused the power of his office and invited a foreign country to interfere in our elections. in so doing, he undermined the sanctity of the free and fair elections upon which our republic rests. making matters worse, over the past several months, president trump and his administration have done everything they can to prevent congress from uncovering the truth. let us be clear, in the history of our republic, no president has ever obstructed congress like this before. during the watergate
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investigation, as my colleagues well know, president nixon's chief of staff testified before congress. president trump's chief of staff refused. president nixon's counsel testified. president trump's refused. white house aides close to president nixon testified. president trump refused to allow any aide who may have knowledge relevant to this investigation to testify. simply put, his administration has engaged in a wholesale obstruction of congress, and that is exactly why we're considering, not just one, but two articles of impeachment before the house today. every member of this body has a responsibility to uphold our constitution, to defend our republic, and when necessary, to hold the executive branch accountable. and we are exercising that responsibility today. so with that and, therefore, i
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will vote yes on both articles. that's what the constitution requires and what my conscience demands. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i never thought a department of justice investigation was used as a money revenue plot. i guess one thing it's true, it was a loser for a net profit proposition. i yield to mr. newhouse a minute and a half. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. newhouse: mr. speaker, the people's house should be better than this. during members' remarks in the judiciary committee, the committee's impeachment proceedings, he stated, and i quote, to my republican colleagues, how do you want to be railroad during this -- remembered during this watershed moment? well, mr. speaker, it won't be watching sports on a laptop during proceedings to impeach say thing president. it won't be using expolice tiffs to refer to our president refer to our to
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president. it won't be using to distort the president's words in order to mislead the american people. and it certainly won't be using the most serious and solemn powers of congress to overturn a legitimate national election for political expediency. no, mr. speaker, my fellow republican colleagues and i won't be remembered in history for doing any of those things. because we know this is far too grave a matter for subversions such as these of our democratic republic. we should all be better than this. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. nadler. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, may i inquire how much time remains on both sides?
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the speaker pro tempore: mr. nadler, you are advised that you have 156 3/4 minutes remaining. the gentleman from georgia has 157 minutes remaining. divide that by 60. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from texas, ms. escobar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. escobar: our country faces a great tragedy and moment of truth. we have witnessed the president of the united states abuse his public office for personal political gain and invite foreign governments to interfere in our election, putting the integrity of a government of, for, and by the people at great risk. the evidence is overwhelming and clearly shows that president trump will continue to abuse his office and obstruct congress if left unchecked. the intelligence committee conducted a robust
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investigation into the president's misconduct. members interviewed 12 witnesses in public hearings, totaling over 30 hours, conducted 17 depositions totaling over 100 hours, examined text messages and emails, reviewed the president's own words and actions and published a 300-page report dealing their findings. all of this, despite the fact that under the president's direction, 12 current and former administration officials refused to testify, even ignoring subpoenas and 71 document requests were denied. the judiciary committee then reviewed the evidence and concluded that two articles of impeachment, which i support, were warranted. the evidence shows that president trump is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and our national security. the most powerful evidence of this pattern has come from the president himself. in 2016, we heard him when he
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called on russia to interfere in our elections. he said, russia, if you're listening. he then repeated this call for election interference on the july 25 call with the ukrainian president, and we heard him again on the white house lawn further adding china to that mix. i stand ready to protect our sacred republic, support these articles of impeachment, and i pray that my colleagues have the courage to do the same. we must uphold our oath of office, defend the constitution and our fragile democracy because no one is above the law. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. you yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from -- i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> vladimir putin and his cronies waged a war on our elections with the goal of sewing discord and division in america.
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do you think he's been successful? somewhere in russia right now, putin is laughing at us today. the majority has given him exactly what he wants, a divided america with a pure partisan politics with massive political rhetoric and an all-time -- at an all-time high. mr. rutherford: many are discrediting the results of future elections, already. it seems many americans, for the past three years, the house majority has been carrying out the wishes of the kremlin. and the sad part is that democrats have vowed to continue their sham investigations even after today's vote. impeaching a duly elected president in a purely partisan manner with no crimes to show for it, not one element of a crime defined, disgraces the integrity of our democracy.
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now is the time to end the partisan politics, come together and put america first. i urge this body to vote no to partisan impeachment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. nadler. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries. the speaker pro tempore: mr. jeffries is recognized for two minutes. mr. jeffries: george washington in his fare well address to the nation counseled -- fare we will address to the nation counseled america that it is in that spirit we proceed today. donald trump pressured a foreign government to target an american citizen for political gain and at the same time withheld without justification $391 million in military aid to a vulnerable ukraine as part of a scheme to solicit foreign interference in an american election. that is unacceptable.
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that is unconscionable. that is unconstitutional. there are some who cynically argue that the impeachment of this president will further divide an already fractured union, but there is a difference between division and clarification. slavery once divided the nation, but emancipators rose up to clarify that all men are created equally. suffrage once divided the nation, but women rose up to clarify that all voices must be heard in our democracy. jim crow once divided the nation, but civil rights champions rose up to clarify that all are entitled to equal protection under the law. there is a difference between division and clarification. we will hold this president accountable for his stunning abuse of power. we will hold this president accountable for undermining our
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national security. we will hold this president accountable for corrupting our democracy. we will impeach donald john trump. we will clarify that in america, no one is above the law. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcclintock: mr. speaker, nullifying a national election requires an overwhelming case of high crimes supported by indisputable evidence that the vast majority of the nation finds compelling. now, article 1 is a made up crime called abuse of office. it does not charge that the president broke any law, but congress doesn't like the way he lawfully discharged his constitutional duties. this would reduce the presidency to that of a minister serving at the pleasure of congress, destroying the separation of
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powers at the heart of our constitution. article 2 is another made up crime called obstruction of congress. it means that president sought to defend his constitutional rights and those of his office. it removes the judiciary from our constitution and places congress alone in the position of defining the limits of its own powers relative to the president. our bill of rights guarantees every american the right to confront their accuser, to call witnesses in their defense, to be protected from hearsay, and to defend these rights in court. the democrats have trampled them all in their stampede to impeach. even if this kangaroo court, the democrats hand picked witnesses, provided no firsthand knowledge the president leaked aid to action. in fact, two witnesses provided firsthand knowledge that he specifically ordered no quid pro quo. . any case that charged no actual
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crime and offered no legally admissible evidence would be laughed out of court in a heartbeat. that's the case before us today t would redefine the grounds for impeachment in such a way that assures it will become a constant presence in our national life. now we know just how reckless as the democrats chant of resist by any means necessary. this is a stunning abuse of power and a shameless travesty of justice that will stain the reputations of those responsible for generations to come. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: mr. nadler. mr. nadler: abuse of power was no vague or weak notion to the framers. it had a very specific meaning. the use of official power to obtain improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest. president trump has abused his office and must be removed. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cohen: thank you. mr. speaker, from our founding the united states has been a
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special nation. a city upon a hill. our values are enshrined in our constitution. liberty, equality, and opportunity. we are self-governing people where every person is equal before the law. in the united states, we don't have a king, we choose our leaders. we vote. generations of americans have fought and some have died to secure these unalienable rights. the constitution begins, we the people of the united states. that's us. it's not we the leaders of russia, ukraine, or china, or we the democrats or we the republicans. it's we the people of the united states. and all americans. and only americans get to have a say in our elections. donald trump used the high power of the presidency to pressure a foreign nation to besmirched his perceived primary political opponent. he corrupted our elections and compromised our national security so he could keep power, not power for the
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people, power for him sefment -- for himself. in 2016 president trump called for foreign interference, russia, if you are listening. in 2019 president trump sought foreign interference when he need add favor from ukraine to intervene in the 2020 elections. president trump attacked and continuing threat to our system of free and fair elections. like all of you, i took an oath to support and defend the constitution. i urge my colleagues to abide by that oath and stand up to president trump's abuse of power and obstruction of congress. to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, i appeal to your patriotism and implore you to defend free and fair elections and preserve the constitution. god save the united states of america. i yield back the balance of my time can. he speaker pro tempore: t gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman and all members are reminded to address their comments to the chair. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i do believe, mr. speaker, that our elections should be free and fair. do i believe that with all my heart except it seems like in this chase this impeachment is based on the fact that the speaker who said last month it would be dangerous to leave it to the voters to determine whether mr. trump stays in office w that i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. higgins. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. thank you, mr. speaker. i have desended into the belly of the beast. i have witnessed the terror within. and i rise committed to oppose the insidious forces which threaten our republic. america's being severely injured by this betrayal, by this unjust and weaponized impeachment, brought upon us by the same socialists who threaten unborn life in the womb, who threaten first amendment rights of conservatives, who threaten second amendment protections of every american patriot, and who
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have long ago determined that they would organize and conspire to overthrow president trump. we don't face this horror because the democrats have all of a sudden become constitutionalists, we are not being devoured from within because of some surreal assertion of the socialist newfound love for the very flag that they try trod upon. we face this horror because of this map, this is what the democrats fear. they fear the true will of we the people. they are deep established d.c. they fear, they call this republican map flyover country. they call us deplorables. they fear our faith, they fear our strength, they fear our unity, they fear our vote, and they fear our president. we will never surrender our nation to career establishment d.c. politicians and bureaucrats. our republic shall survive this threat from within.
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american patriots shall prevail. mr. speaker, i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york, mr. nadlemplet mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i -- mr. nadler. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i yield to the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i was not among those who supported impeachment before ukraine, but i called for impeachment today because our president is, as we speak, abusing his power and placing himself above the law. president trump's attempt to sabotage the 2020 election is a clear and present danger on our democracy. we the people know this and more americans support impeachment today than at any time since richard nixon's final weeks in office. we know that it's wrong to enlist the help of foreigners
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in interfering in our elections. we know it's wrong to cheat. and we know what's at stake. it's not just that our elections were attacked, our elections are under attack right now. the very day the judiciary committee voted out articles of impeachment, president trump welcome rudy giuliani back to the white house. president trump is still at it. he's doubling down. he doesn't think he can win an election fair and square so he's trying to cheat. to ignore these crimes it's not just giving the president a pass, it's giving him a green light. those who vote against itch peachment are not just en-- impeachment are not just endorsing president trump's past actions but future ones as well. if you think i exaggerate in warning our elections can be undermined, i urge you to come down to georgia, find a black man or woman of a certain age, and they'll tell you the danger
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is real. and they'll tell you of brave americans, patriots willing to risk far more than a political career who marched and struggled and sometimes died so that we could have fair and free elections. we are not asked to possess even a fraction of their courage. we are simply called upon today to do what's right. and i'm proud to vote yes on impeachment. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. i'm glad that my colleague, madam speaker, just mentioned georgia, because since 2014 the actual voter participation among minorities, female african-american, male, hispanic male and female, have risen double digits. i'm proud what georgia is doing to get everybody to the poll. i'm glad he chose to highlight it, he highlighted it in the wrong way. madam speaker, i yield a minute and a half to gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. meuser. mr. meuser: madam speaker, back
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home people refer to capitol hill as a bubble. they are right. it's as if we are completely detached from what's going on in communities across america. many here don't hear or listen to what people are saying. and many here as well think they know better than the people we serve. our communities are benefiting greatly from president trump's agenda. booming economy, secure border, better trade deals, stronger mill teamplet unfortunately inside the halls of congress democrats obsession with impeachment is all consuming. is this how democrat leadership chooses to represent the people of america? by nullifying the results of the 2016 election? disregarding the will of the american people and doing everything in their power to prevent the president and this congress from doing the job we are elected to do? after three years of trying months of unfair politically motivated impeachment proceedings, democrats have delivered two weak articles of impeachment. abuse of power? not according to the ukraine.
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president zelensky confirmed many times there was no quid pro quo, no action taken, and significant military aid was delivered without anything in return. of course his words have been conveniently dismissed. obstruction of congress? is this the new standard? if this is the new standard, then every president since jimmy carter and every president moving forward would and will be impeached. let me be clear. it is an honor to serve in the united states house of representatives, but today i am distraught. today democrats will disregard the will of the american people and vote to impeach the duly elected president of the united states which would be equally troubling if this has eroded if not wiped out the trust the american people have in the 116th congress. i yield back. mr. collins: i reserve. mr. nadler: president trump said no quid pro quo only after the white house learned of the whistleblower complaint and after the "washington post" published an article about the president's pressure campaign
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on ukraine. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from california, ms. bass. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. bass: madam speaker, this is a sad day in u.s. history. when we have to vote on articles of impeachment because donald trump has abused the power of the office of the presidency in his attempt to cheat his way to re-election. the facts are uncontested. fact one, the president abused the power of his office by attempting to shake down the president of a country that has been our ally. trump wanted president zelensky of the ukraine to dig up, make up dirt on vice president biden because he sees him as the biggest threat to his re-election. fact two, trump wanted zelensky to go before the press and announce an investigation of biden. hoping the mere announcement would create doubt about biden and strengthen trump's hand in the 2020 election. fact three, trump obstructed congress by engaging in a cover-up. trump has refused to comply
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with congressional subpoenas and blocked current and past employees from testifying before congressional committees. congress is a co-equal branch of government and one of our central responsibilities is to provide oversight and investigation of the administration. the very checks and balances the framers built into the constitution so no one branch would have unchecked power. the house of representatives has no choice but to vote and pass articles of impeachment because president trump has abused his power and obstructed the ability of congress from performing our constitutional duty. the urgency to move forward with articles of impeachment is because there is no reason to believe president trump won't continue to abuse the power of his office. no reason to believe he won't continue to put his foot on the scale of his re-election. in fact, his attorney just returned from the ukraine and in an article just released in "the new yorker" magazine confesses to continuing the effort to interfere in the election. in many of our congressional districts, we worry about voter
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suppression and schemes that purge legitimate voters from participating in the election. or we worry about russian interference in our election. it is a sad day in america when we have to worry about the commander in chief interfering in the election in order to be re-elected. elections should be decided by the american people. i will vote for both articles of impeachment. it is my constitutional duty that fulfill my oath of office. no one is above the law. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to thea. utah. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. stewart: i discovered recently that's shocking, i know. but it turns out that some people don't like president trump. they think he's loud. they think he can be arrogant. they think sometimes he says bad words. and sometimes he's rude to people. to their sensitive natures, they have been offended. i get that. i really do. but let's be clear, this vote, this day has nothing to do with
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ukraine. it has nothing to do with abuse of power. it has nothing to do with obstruction of congress. if vote, this day is about one thing and one thing only. they hate this president. they hate those of us who voted for him. they think we are stupid. they think we made a mistake. they think hillary clinton should be the president and they want to fix that. that's what this vote is about. they want to take away my vote and throw it in the trash. they want to take away my president and delegitimatize him so can he not be re-elected. that's what this is about. for those who think this started with this investigation, what nonsense. is you have -- you have been trying to impeach this president since before he was sworn into office. some of you introduced articles of impeachment before he was sworn into office. this isn't something you are
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approaching prayerfully and mournfully and sadly. oh, the chaos, the sadness. this is something you are gleeful about. you have been trying to do it for three years. and it's very clear. you don't have to go back and google very much to find out that is the absolute truth. i could give you pages of examples of things you have said for three years about this president. that's what this is about. if you think -- if this impeachment is successful, the next president, i promise you will be impeached. and the next president after that. if you set this bar as being impeachable, every president in our future will be impeached. it erodes our republic in ways our founding fathers recognized. they got it right. high crimes and misdemeanors. other than that -- i look forward to that day. let the american people decide. the speaker pro tempore: jimplete members are reminded to direct their comments to the chair. the gentleman from new york.
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mr. nadler: i would remind the gentleman if president trump is impeached and removed, the new president would be mike pence not hillary clinton. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from -- ida, the speaker pro tempore: sorry the gentleman yield two minutes? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. >> madam speaker,dy not have the privilege of being foreign into this country. my mountaineer brought me from ecuador looking for freedom and opportunity, but that's not my sorry alone. ms. mucarsel-powell: this is a story with so many people that live in florida's 26th district and all over the country. we have left an experienced corruption of our countries of birth where brutal dictatorships have choked their potential to benefit those in power. this president-elected by the american people has violated his oath of office and violated the rule of law.
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the ev the evidence is overwhelming that he withheld military aid approved by coverage and leveraged a white house meeting to extract a political favor from a foreign government. the president actively sought foreign election interference to benefit himself. it is undeniable that he has abused his power and obstructed congress. he presents a clear and present danger to our democracy. as an immigrant, i still get chills because i feel so fortunate to live in this extraordinary country. the genius of american democracy lies in our constitution and the dedication to the rule of law. i want my children and all of our children to feel the same way when they grow up. however, if we sit idly by as cracks begin to appear in our democratic institutions, our
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children will be in the same situation like so many of us experienced when we left countries whose leaders destroyed democracy. we in congress must abide by our oath to defend our constitution. that is my duty as a member of this body. that is my duty as a father. i yield back -- that is my duty as a mother. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from new york, mr. king. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. king: thank you for yielding. madam speaker, i rise today in strong opposition to the articles of impeachment against president trump. as chairman nadler must recall, exactly 21 years ago today, i spoke on this floor in opposition to the impeachment of president clinton. and 21 years ago tomorrow i voted against all four of articles of impeachment against president clinton. today's articles of impeachment against president trump are an assault on our constitution and the american people. to impeach a president for a
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phone call for which no crime is charged, infer mind a high crime, and asserting his constitutional prerogatives of president is a clear abuse of power by the congress. it sets a dangerous precedent of weaponizing impeachment to undo the solemn decision of the american people. madam speaker, president trump and i grew up in the same borough of new york city, and today i am proud to stand with president trump and urge a no vote on these horrible acts of impeachment, these articles of impeachment. i yield back the balance of my time and strongly urge a no vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. -- the gentlelady is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. ms. lofgren: when the president abuses his presidential power to up-end the constitutional order, we have an obligation to live up to our oath of office. we've been presented with
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direct evidence about the president's actions. they threaten our national security and undermined the integrity of the next election. we now vote on articles of impeachment for abuse of power and contempt of congress as a result of that evidence. i've worked on presidential impeachments as part of the judiciary committee twice before. this third time brings me no joy. president nixon attempted to corrupt elections. his agents broke into the democratic party headquarters to get a leg up on the election and then, just like president trump, he tried to cover it up. then he resigned. this is even worse. president trump not only abused his power to help his re-election, he used a foreign government to do it. he used military aid provided to fight the russians as leverage solely to benefit his own political campaign. george washington would be astonished since he warned against the insidious wiles of foreign influence. the direct evidence is damning.
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the president hasn't offered any evidence to the contrary. these actions constitute grounds for presidential impeachment. what is before us is a serious abuse of power and obstruction of congress. these abuses strike at the heart of our constitution. the president's unconstitutional abuse of power, a high crime and misdemeanor, is ongoing. he totally refused to provide any information to congress related to the impeachment inquiry. it's our responsibility to use the tool our founders gave us in the constitution to preserve the constitutional order. we must impeach, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. rouzer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. rouzer: madam speaker, "the washington post" had a headline after president trump took
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office, the campaign to impeach president trump has begun. how accurate they were. here we are almost three years later and what we are witnessing today is unprecedented in american history, a very partisan base of impeachment with no facts to warrant it. this is speculation rooted in a deep seeded hatred for a man that many on the other side of the aisle detest, not all but many. no one does it say that personal disdain is grounds for impeachment. many of the claims by the democratic colleagues turned out to be false. russian collusion, there was none. we were told that the f.b.i. did not abuse the fisa process in the investigation into the trump campaign. that, too, has now proven to be completely false. then, when the russian collusion hoax collapsed, we were told that we would hear from a whistleblower that had
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details of a nefarious call between the president and the president of ukraine. then we found out they weren't even on the call, and we still don't know who the whistleblower is. we were told there was clear evidence of a quid pro quo for personal gain. after reading the transcript you would have to make assumptions that would not stand up in traffic court to come to that conclusion. puteable e induce facts did not have a case. the articles of impeachment only make vague accusations of abuse of power and obstruction of congress because they didn't find treason or bribery or anything for that matter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. rouzer: today is a very sad day for our republic. the country is now divided. the country is more divided than it has ever been in my lifetime. the truth has been trampled by this house of representatives and because of the abuses at the f.b.i. and department of
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justice, more americans have an even dimmer view of very important american institutions. thankfully the lens of history will ensure the truth is told and will endure. cloudy -- mr. collins: reserve. mr. nadler: a president to corrupt our elections who would abuse the great powers of his office to ensure his own re-election, the impeachment inquiry is not an effort to overturn an election. it is a reaffirmation of the simple truth that in the united states of america, no person, not even the president, is above the law and our democracy cannot allow a duly elected president to abuse the power of his office for personal and political gain. and i now yield 2 1/2 minutes the gentlelady from it -- the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. i hate no lee:
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woman or man. today, the marn people should receive clarity and -- the american people should receive clarity and truth. the constitution is the highest law of the land. the president breached and violated the constitution of the united states of america. the president committed constitutional crimes. the president's crimes are impeachable. john f. kennedy said if this country should ever reach the point where any man or group of man by threat or threat of force, then no law would stand free from doubt and no citizen will be safe from his neighbors. the facts are undisputed. first, president trump violated his oath of office by placing his personal political interests above the national interests by scheming to coerce ukraine into investigating a
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potential election opponent. second, president trump betrayed the nation by withholding the connelly agreed $391 -- congressionally agreed $391 to a fragile ally against a very strong foe, russia. third, the essential purpose of the scheme concocted by the president was to enlist a foreign country to help in the 2020 election. these acts are constitutional crimes and abuse of power. the truth is, the president did ask for a favor. those were his own words. in the july 25 call, no mention of corruption. only the mention of the bidens. the president was engaged in wrongdoing and it's a clear and present danger. he has a pattern, and his behavior remains a continuing threat to america's national security. the truth is that abuse of power does violate the constitution. while both corrupting and cheating our american democracy. his acts betray the nation. he must take care to execute laws faithfully. this is the truth. why does the truth matter?
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because it matters to the farmer at his or her plow. it matters to the waitress on an early morning shift. it matters to the steelworker building america. it matters to the teacher in a fifth grade class. it matters to a mother kissing off her military recruit going off to war. the constitution must be preserved. our laws must be respected. the bloodshed and sacrifice of fellow americans cannot be ignored, trampled on or rejected, and today our actions on the vote taken today must be for no personal gain or grander. the bright light of our constitutional democracy has been dimmed because of his acts. the truth is no longer for all. it is for one man, donald j. trump. his truth, his way, we must reject that abuse of power because this is not america. no one is above the law. alexander hamilton said impeachment was designed to deal with the conduct -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: and violation of public trust. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: he has violated the trust. the speaker pro tempore: who
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seeks recognition? ms. jackson lee: we must impeach donald j. trump. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: it's my pleasure to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from michigan, mr. mitchell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. mitchell: today, the house of representatives votes on two articles of impeachment for president trump. members and all americans must recognize that impeachment was intended to be a safety valve, rarely used, only when a president acts in such an immoral and blatantly unlawful manner as it threatens the very base of our republic. as we cast votes on these articles, the future tone of this house and politics in this nation must be carefully considered. this is not whether we agree with or like the president's rhetoric, political tactics, use of twitter, policy choices or his political rallies. one of our founders, alexander hamilton, warned that the risks of becoming -- impeachment becoming a solely partisan act in the federalist papers.
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this impeachment inquiry and these articles clearly do not heed that warning. these proceedings are weaponizing impeachment, making it another election tool. i carefully examined the evidence presented throughout the inquiry, and contrary to some, considered our history, our founding documents, and our future. it is clear president trump's actions as described in these articles do not constitute treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. you simply don't like him. i will be voting no on these articles and will hope someday we return to serving the needs of the american people. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. richmond. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. richmond: madam speaker, president trump on january 20, 2017, raised his hand and swore to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.
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now, we must preserve, protect, and defend the constitution from him. madam speaker, i rise today not to disparage and embarrass the president of the united states, but to defend our precious democracy. i speak today, not because i hate this president, but because i love this body, the people's house. i have heard republicans say, why are we rushing to judgment? this is not a rush to judgment. it's a rush to justice, and we must not delay. corruption is corrosive. it eats away like acid, and the longer we wait, the more time we allow for this president to do irreparable harm to our country and our democracy. just last week, rudy giuliani was back at it in ukraine. so please don't tell us to wait, because the corruption continues. . there is a famous quote that says politicians worry about the next election. statesmen worry about the next
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generation. today calls upon us to be statesmen and stateswomen. democrat, republican, and independent. our election is under attack from within. so to my republican colleagues, many of whom spend a lifetime trying to build a reputation of honesty and courage, i beg you don't throw that away for president trump. he doesn't deserve it, nor will he appreciate it past the next tweet or next week. my fear, my prediction is that his actions will continue. madam speaker, donald trump recently said, i can do anything i want. he also bragged that he could shoot someone on fifth avenue and get away with it. well, he's shooting holes in our constitution on pennsylvania avenue. and our house, the people's house, must defend the constitution from a domestic enemy to the rule of law, donald trump. because i don't want generations to come to blame me for letting our democracy die,
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i therefore rise in favor of impeaching donald trump. with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. at this point i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from missouri, mr. luetkemeyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. luetkemeyer: i rise in strong opposition to this charade. if there is was ever any doubt this entire illegitimate investigation is 100% politically motivated, earlier this month speaker pelosi admitted the impeachment process began 2 1/2 years ago. let me say that again, the speaker of the house said publicly the democrats have been trying to remove our president from office since the day he got elected simply because it was not the outcome they wanted. another of my democrat colleagues publicly admitted in may that the driving force behind their actions was, i quote, if we don't impeach the president he'll get re-elected. this wasn't an investigation, madam speaker, this was a
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political crusade n order to arrive at their predetermined conclusion, house democrats spent the last several months staging well rehearsed hearings where the charges were drawn up by their own focus groups. democrat donors served as witnesses, and democrat staff served as judge and jury. even with the odds stacked against the president, the democrats came up with absolutely nothing. a while ago the speaker spoke of the pledge of allegiance. the last phrase of the pledge is, justice for all. justice is not something afforded the president during the investigation. he was denied due process. something supreme court said should be afforded in all congressional investigations. that makes this process illegal and illegitimate. what a shame, what a sham. with that, i yield back mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield two minutes to the gentlelady from texas, ms. garcia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. garcia: madam speaker, i didn't come to congress to impeach the president.
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even when he separated babies from their parents at the border. even when he took money from our troops to build his wall. no, i didn't call for impeachment because i'm here to make a difference in the lives of my constituents. yet, here we are in the middle of a constitutional crisis. as a former judge, i took my responsibility seriously to weigh the evidence and determine if the president's actions were impeachable. unfortunately, the evidence in the intelligence and judiciary reports leaves us with no choice but to impeach the president. so i stand on my oath that i have sworn to the constitution and to the american people. and today i urge my colleagues to stand by their oaths, too. the framers of the constitution included impeachment as a safeguard against a corrupt president whose misconduct could destroy the very
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foundations of our country. donald j. trump abused his power when he obstructed congress and ordered government officials not to appear before us. donald j. trump corrupted our election when he asked a foreign government to interfere for his personal and political gain. today, sadly, i ask my colleagues, will you put your party over our country? or will you help save our democracy and vote yes on the articles of impeachment before you? i urge you to vote yes. i yield back. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield back. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. i do have an inquiry as to the time remaining for both sides. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia has two hours, 22 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from new york has
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two hours and 27 1/2 minutes left. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. at this point it is my -- i yield now a minute and a half to the gentleman from iowa, mr. king. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. king: thank you madam speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i start out first that this is the largest and most massive cover-up of such a list of crimes against our country. to go so far as to bring impeachment hearings to cover all this up. i would take you back to october of 2015 when barack obama said, hillary clinton would never intend to jeopardize our national security. again, the following april the next month, peter strzok wrote the statement that was delivered by james comey, and they spent democrat money and hillary clinton money in russia to pick up dirt on donald trump. then joe biden goes to ukraine and makes a statement, here's a billion dollars but you must do what i tell you to do. you are accusing donald trump of doing that which joe biden
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has confessed to doing. by the way, joe biden was not the opponent of donald trump. he's in a 21-way primary, running third in that race. his opponents are the other 20 democrats. how would anybody dig into that mess of 21 people and decide he's going to go overseas and pull someone -- you have to assign him a mowive. you assign him a mowive then you create the dots and go dot to dot. but the reality is it was biden that was doing the extortion of the power play in order to protect his own son. it was donald trump that was following the law that said you have to ensure that there is not corruption here before this money is handed over. by the way, there was a violent war going on in ukraine and that's when we sent blankets and m.r.e.'s over there. when i hear this from the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, he doesn't think he can win the election fair and square so he will -- would cheat. i heard that here on this floor. no, it's the other way around. your number one proponent of
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impeachment, is al green of texas, he said those very same things and they brought this case november 9 the day after trump was elected. i yield back. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield two minutes to the gentlelady from pennsylvania, ms. dean. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. madam speaker, words matter. we have heard many words over the course of these last weeks. still what strikes me are the words that are missing from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. a gaping hole in this conversation. the words they cannot or will not mouth. defending a president's conduct. conduct that threatens our constitutional order. and so, speaker, i ask when is it ever right for a president to coerce a foreign power to interfere in our elections? when is it ever right for a
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president to intimidate a foreign leader into announcing false investigations into a political rival? when is it ever right for that president to withhold congressionally appropriated aid to that country at the expense of its national security and our very own? and when is it ever right for a president to block a co-equal branch of government from investigating the scheme to cheat an election? the answer of course is never. but that word does not come trippingly from the tongues of those who are making the choice to stand behind a man whose behavior is not worthy of your tortured words. by our vote today we are speaking to future presidents and future generations. we are declaring that we will not tolerate foreign interference in our presidential elections. americans alone will determine the outcome. we will not permit a president to order the complete defiance of a co-equal branch of
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government. and in the end, regardless of the outcome of this impeachment, the president's tenure will end. and this body and our grandchildren will be left with what we did here today. ours is a somber generational duty about love of country and lifting a constitution to its gravest protections, but it's highest aspirations. our democracy is a matter of conscience. by voting to safeguard our constitution, mine is clear. i thank you, madam speaker. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. as i'm remeaned many times we to the the sham process and follow the facts and one vote. if you want to talk about elections, remember it was the speaker of the house who said we can't trust the voters -- too dangerous to leave it to the voters for president trump next year. with that i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from arizona as. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. mrs. lesko: thank you, madam speaker. as you-all know i serve on both the judiciary committee and
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rules committee and i have literally spent hours, hours poring over testimony, looking at documents, sitting in hearings. you know the conclusion i got from all of that? this impeachment is a total joke and a total sham. let me tell you one of the reasons why i think that. all of those witnesses, the 17 witnesses that the democrats brought forward, not one single one of them was able to establish that president trump committed bribery, treason, high crimes, or misdemeanors. which is required in the u.s. constitution. of 24 in, 17 out democrat members on judiciary committee voted on this floor to move forward articles of impeachment before the phone
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call. and five out of nine rule committee democrat members did the same thing. so if the main part of your impeachment is the call, why did you vote for impeachment prior to the call? i also want to remind the american public and others that for two years adam schiff claimed he had proof, proof that president trump had colluded with russia. that turned out to be false. and then overnight it was obstruction of justice. then quid pro quo. then bribery. then extortion. and the list goes on. yet not one of those is listed in the articles of impeachment. to my democrat colleagues, madam chair, i say please stop tearing the country apart. stop this sham. i yield back. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: the gentlelady is
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correct. president trump's behavior is not new. he has a pattern of engaging in misconduct then obstructing any investigation into miss misconduct to cover up his actions and hide the truth from the american people. i now yield to the gentlelady from california, ms. roybal-allard, for the purpose of unanimous consent request. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. roybal-allard: i rise in support of today's impeachment proceedings and ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from rhode island, mr. langevin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. langevin: i thank the gentleman for yielding. madam speaker, our nation was founded on certain principles. the government should be of, by, and for the people. that a system of three co-equal branches of government would provide the checks and balances necessary to ensure the people's voices are heard. and that no one is above the law. today, sadly, we are voting

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