Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Trump Impeached by House (With Video of Huffman's Floor Speech)

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 7:00 PM

North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman joined a majority of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in voting to impeach President Donald Trump today, making him the third president in the nation’s history to face forced removal from office.

click to enlarge Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
Today’s vote means Trump will now face a trial in the Senate on two articles of impeachment, one for abusing the power of his office and another for obstructing Congress. The first charge stems from Trump’s alleged plot to leverage $391 in Congressionally approved security aid and the promise of a White House visit to pressure the new president of Ukraine, which is at war with Russia, to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden (then the Democratic frontrunner for 2020) and unfounded allegations that it was Ukraine, and not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election. The second charge stems from the administration’s refusal to reply with Congressional subpoenas by ordering witnesses not to testify in the House impeachment inquiry and not to respond to subpoenas seeking a swath of documents.

Republicans have decried Democrats' impeachment inquiry as a partisan process with a predetermined outcome. And while they largely don't dispute that the president exerted pressure on Ukraine they argue he didn't do anything improper, as aide was ultimately released without the announcement of any investigations.

Prior to the historic vote, which fell almost entirely along party lines, each representative was given one minute on the floor to address the issue. Huffman, who has been a strident, vocal and longstanding advocate of impeachment, said today’s vote will be judged by future generations.

“Historians will study what members of this Congress did when our democracy was tested like never before by a president who put personal interests above country; who compromised national security to cheat his way to re-election; and when caught, not only lied and refused to admit wrongdoing, but flouted Congress’ authority,” Huffman said. “He even called the Constitutional impeachment mechanism ‘unconstitutional.’

“Historians will marvel how some members continued to stand by this man; how they put blind partisan loyalty – or fear of Donald Trump – above their duty to defend the Constitution; how they made absurd partisan arguments and tried to obstruct these proceedings; and how, instead of pushing back when their party fell under a dark spell of authoritarianism, they embraced it – as if the Constitution, the rule of law, and our oath of office mean nothing.

“So, Madam Speaker, for our future generations, our children, and the judgment of history, let me be clear:  I stand with our Constitution, with the rule of law and our democracy. I’ll be voting ‘yes’ to impeach Donald J. Trump.”

After the floor speech, Huffman told the Journal it was his “best attempt to explain” to constituents why he’s supporting this “extraordinary step.” Describing the tone on the House floor as very solemn, Huffman invoked the words of Thomas Paine, saying, “The times have found us,” adding, “I think that’s exactly where we find ourselves right now.”

Huffman’s predecessor Representative Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), who represented the North Coast for 14 years before redistricting changed the district boundaries and has been much more restrained on the subject of impeachment, also offered a floor speech this afternoon. Thompson used his minute at the dais to stress that he sees this as a national security issue.

“As a combat veteran and having served eight years on the intelligence committee, I understand the threat that foreign actors can play in our elections,” Thompson said. “It was abuse of power by the president to ask a foreign nation to interfere in our election to benefit his personal and political interest, and to condition bipartisan Congressionally approved aid on that interference. Unchecked, these acts could lead us down a path that will unravel the fabric of our nation. I’m sadden we’re here today but in the interest of defending our nation, I will vote for the articles of impeachment.”

See text and video of the full floor speeches from both representatives below.

From Huffman:

“Madam Speaker, as we take this solemn, necessary step of impeaching President Trump, my Republican colleagues have made up their minds; we can’t persuade them to do the right thing.  So, I address my remarks to the future. Because today’s vote will be judged by future generations including my precious children Abby and Nathan. Maybe grandkids.  
“Historians will study what members of this Congress did when our democracy was tested like never before by a President who put personal interests above country; who compromised national security to cheat his way to re-election; and when caught, not only lied and refused to admit wrongdoing, but flouted Congress’ authority.  He even called the Constitutional impeachment mechanism ‘unconstitutional.’
 “Historians will marvel how some members continued to stand by this man; how they put blind partisan loyalty – or fear of Donald Trump – above their duty to defend the Constitution; how they made absurd partisan arguments and tried to obstruct these proceedings; and how, instead of pushing back when their party fell under a dark spell of authoritarianism, they embraced it – as if the Constitution, the rule of law, and our Oath of Office mean nothing.
“So, Madam Speaker, for our future generations, our children, and the judgment of history, let me be clear:  I stand with our Constitution, with the rule of law, and our democracy. I’ll be voting ‘yes’ to impeach Donald J. Trump.

From Thompson:

“Madame speaker, I find no pleasure coming to the floor today to consider impeachment. I ran for congress to represent my community and to serve the country I love. As a combat veteran and having served eight years on the intelligence committee, I understand the threat that foreign actors can play in our elections. Every elected official must dedicate themselves to protecting our democracy. No one should invite a foreign country to interfere with our most sacred act of voting.”

“It was abuse of power by the president to ask a foreign nation to interfere in our election to benefit his personal and political interest, and to condition bipartisan Congressionally approved aid on that interference. Unchecked, these acts could lead us down a path that will unravel the fabric of our nation. I’m sadden we’re here today but in the interest of defending our nation, I will vote for the articles of impeachment.”


  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

About The Author

Thadeus Greenson

Bio:
Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

© 2020 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation