President Trump, Congress, President President discussed on Post Reports
Just afternoon debate. The floor began with Speaker Nancy. Pelosi we gathered today under the Dome of this Temple of Democracy to exercise one of the most solemn powers that this body audie 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 it but every one of us as our first act is a member of Congress stood on this historic House floor before our beautiful American flag and raised raised our hands in the socred oath I do swap solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies AMIS foreign and domestic so help me God then came Republican Doug Collins ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee and we are here today during her into a debate. The should surprise. No one. This is not a surprise. It's not even something that we would have not thought about from the very moment that the majority party in this house one the inevitability that we would be here today was only a matter of what date they would schedule it nothing else you know. It's not about what this body can do in this constitution loath there's been a lot of constitutional and founders thrown around. We'll 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 impeachment in 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 so Aaron Lake it is now two. PM So the actual debate on the articles of impeachment had been going on for about two hours. Now what have we heard so far will in a Lotta as we've heard what we've been hearing for the last several weeks in these impeachment hearings I in the House intelligence committee than the Judiciary Committee and then and finally in the rules committee this week. Republicans have I think even over the course of of those weeks become even more resolute in their defenses of of president trump and basically that there is no there there. Republicans have essentially argued that this was a predetermined outcome that Democrats have basically melded the facts To satisfy that predetermined outcome and that whatever the president is being accused of isn't even bad enough off to impeach a President so Democrats on the other hand are talking about this in in in very solemn terms as what I I think he's been the prevailing takeaways so far they've talked about this as if it is their duty even if they recognize. Maybe it's not likely to succeed in the end and removing him And basically are projecting the idea that they're not happy about having to do this. And that is not a personal thing with the president and I think that we saw that from the very beginning of the debate with Speaker Nancy Pelosi she was wearing black. She was very sombre and how she was talking about. This decision that was before these members members of Congress and she really seems to not want to be making this about Democrats winning or Democrats Being able to stick it to the president very sadly now. Our founders vision of a republic is under threat from actions from the White House that is why today a speaker of the House I solemnly and sadly opened the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States. Nancy Pelosi at least he's publicly was not an advocate for impeachment for a very long time she was holding up this process when a lot of her colleagues wanted to go down this road just based upon the Russia investigation before we learn about any of this Ukraine stuff really but I also think it's just a is thing where the more they can say that this is not something that they're happy to be doing. I think makes it seem less personal and I think they hope sends the message that they're they've taken the step after considering it very closely the and doing it even though they didn't want to at least in her case and what were some of the arguments that Republicans made during the debate today. Many of them have actually been trending towards awards. kind of an apocalyptic scene. I'm thinking mostly of one moment. Where Congressman Clay Higgins from Louisiana? took to the microphone and offered some pretty vivid imagery. I have descended into the belly of the beast. I've witnessed the terror within and arise committed to oppose the insidious force. I was threatened our public. America's being severely injured by this betrayal by this own just and weaponized impeachment brought opponents by the same socialist who threaten unborn life in the womb who threatened First Amendment Rights of conservatives another popular argument and one that's not terribly surprising Given it's been used in recent days. Is this idea that the president in these impeachment articles isn't actually being accused of a crime. We saw congressman. Tom McClintock from California. Making this case. Now Article One's a made up crime called abuse of office. It does not charged that the president broke any law. But they're congress doesn't like the way he lawfully discharged his constitutional duties. This would reduce the presidency you to that of a minister serving at the pleasure of Congress destroying the separation of powers at the heart of our Constitution. Article too is another. Made up crime I'm called obstruction of Congress. It means the president sought to defend his constitutional rights. And those of his office. It removes the judiciary from our Constitution in places Congress alone in the position of defining the limits of its own powers relative to the president. We saw Peter King from New York. Also making it to impeach a President President for phone call which crimes charged never mind a high crime and asserting his constitutional prerogatives as president is a clear abuse of power by the Congress. This this is an argument that Democrats basically gave to Republicans when they chose to make these impeachment articles about abuse of power and obstruction of Congress rather rather than accusing the president of bribery. which is a statutory crime or obstruction of justice which is also a statutory crime obstruction of congress is different And is not something that you would be tried in a court of law for so you know the extent. Republicans can use that to say what the president is being accused accused of. Isn't even that serious. I think is really what they're going for here. So what are some of the key issues that Democrats are raising in response to these attacks from Republicans will the response to the idea that the impeachment articles include. No crimes has generally been that the president has actually committed crimes. They've been crimes crimes against the constitution and not necessarily statutory crimes. A few Democrats who have been making these arguments include Paul a a member from Washington. 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 Ted Lieu from California no one is above the law and the Constitution is Supreme Law Law of the land. I I went through constitution. Why joint the United States Air Force on active duty and took was not to a political party? Eh to a president or to a King Document has made America the greatest nation on earth and that document contains a safeguard for when the presence. It's abusive power is so extreme that warrant impeachment and Cedric Richmond from Louisiana 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. I think it's interesting to see someone like representative Jeffries. And what he said that he couched this vote in terms of a lofty idea like emancipation. It seems like Democrats are really trying to speak from a moral highground. There are some who cynically argue that. The impeachment of this president will further divide an already fractured textured union. But there is a difference between division and clarification slavery wants divided the nation but emancipate US rose up to clarify that all men are created equally suffrage once divided the nation but women rose up to clarify five that all voices must be heard and our democracy. Jim Crow once divided the nation but civil rights champions rose up to clarify by that all are entitled to equal protection under the law. There is a difference between division and clarification. Yeah I keep Jeffries. From New York is one of the people who's talked about as a potential future speaker of the House and he took on this argument that it Republicans have been pointing out that Democrats before they were for impeachment said. That impeachment needed to be bipartisan thing. Of course it's not being bipartisan. Today it's not going to be. So why are they going through. It is if the question and Jeffries basically said in an ideal world. This would be bipartisan. But just just because something is divisive doesn't mean it's not worth doing. Well Aaron. Thank you so much. That's our one two of this debate. We have many more hours to go. So we'll check in with the little bit later. Sounds.