NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Donald Trump has been impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

Don­ald John Trump today become the third Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States to be impeached by the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives after betray­ing his oath of office and the hun­dreds of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans the Elec­toral Col­lege chose him to rep­re­sent.

By a vote of two hun­dred and thir­ty to one hun­dred and nine­ty-sev­en, the House vot­ed to impeach Trump for abuse of pow­er (Arti­cle I), and by a vote of two hun­dred and twen­ty-nine to one hun­dred and nine­ty-eight, the House vot­ed to impeach Trump for obstruc­tion of Con­gress (Arti­cle II).

Three mem­bers of the House abstained from both votes: José Ser­ra­no of New York, John Shimkus of Illi­nois, and the dis­graced Dun­can Hunter of Cal­i­for­nia.

No Repub­li­cans vot­ed for either arti­cle of impeach­ment, but one for­mer Repub­li­can, who left the par­ty over the ques­tion of impeach­ment, sup­port­ed both arti­cles (abuse of pow­er and obstruc­tion of Con­gress): Justin Amash of Michi­gan.

One Rep­re­sen­ta­tive vot­ed “Present”: Tul­si Gab­bard of Hawaii (who claims to be a Demo­c­rat). One Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tive vot­ed against Arti­cle I (Collin Peter­son of Min­neso­ta) and two vot­ed against Arti­cle II (Peter­son, Jared Gold­en of Maine).

Also vot­ing against impeach­ment was Jeff Van Drew of New Jer­sey, who was elect­ed as a Demo­c­rat but is switch­ing par­ties and is join­ing the Par­ty of Trump.

Trump has become only the third pres­i­dent in the his­to­ry of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca to be impeached; the first was Andrew John­son in 1868 and the sec­ond was Bill Clin­ton in 1998. (Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.)

The House as a whole vot­ed almost entire­ly along par­ty lines; the Pacif­ic North­west­’s del­e­ga­tion vot­ed strict­ly along par­ty lines.

Vot­ed To Impeach Don­ald Trump: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Den­ny Heck (WA), Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrad­er (OR)

Vot­ed Against Impeach­ment: Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, Dan New­house, Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers (WA), Greg Walden (OR), Mike Simp­son and Russ Fulcher (ID), Greg Gian­forte (MT), Don Young (AK)

“We in Con­gress, Arti­cle I, the Leg­isla­tive Branch, 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,” Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi declared in her remarks open­ing the debate on impeach­ment.

U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal, a mem­ber of the Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee, offered the fol­low­ing remarks regard­ing her vote to impeach Don­ald Trump.

Today was a day of account­abil­i­ty. It was a day for defend­ing our democ­ra­cy. By invit­ing for­eign inter­fer­ence in our elec­tions, Pres­i­dent Trump cor­rupt­ed our democ­ra­cy and vio­lat­ed the Con­sti­tu­tion.

By lever­ag­ing crit­i­cal, con­gres­sion­al­ly appro­pri­at­ed aid to a frag­ile, for­eign ally for per­son­al gain, Pres­i­dent Trump betrayed our nation­al secu­ri­ty and vio­lat­ed the Con­sti­tu­tion.

By obstruct­ing the House from doing our job, Pres­i­dent Trump put him­self above the law and vio­lat­ed the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Impeach­ment is a rarely used rem­e­dy, designed to guard against the most egre­gious abus­es of pow­er. Don­ald Trump’s abuse of pow­er and obstruc­tion of Con­gress so clear­ly war­rants its use.

Our democ­ra­cy derives its pow­er not from the blood­lines of mon­archs but from the votes of ‘We, the Peo­ple.’

It only works if ‘We, the Peo­ple’ sum­mon the courage to vig­or­ous­ly pro­tect and renew its promise.

That is the his­to­ry of our nation: Coura­geous patri­ots who fought for inde­pen­dence and gift­ed us the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion; coura­geous patri­ots, like Har­ri­et Tub­man, who escaped slav­ery and led oth­ers to safe­ty through the Under­ground Rail­road; and coura­geous patri­ots, like Rev­erend Mar­tin Luther King Jr. and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive John Lewis, who stood up on the Edmund Pet­tus Bridge and secured civ­il rights for all.

These patri­ots all rose to the awe­some respon­si­bil­i­ty giv­en to all of us by the Founders to pro­tect our democ­ra­cy.

This moment in our his­to­ry is a test. It is a test of the vision of our framers, the resilience of our Con­sti­tu­tion, and the char­ac­ter and patri­o­tism of our elect­ed offi­cials. Today, we sum­moned the courage to answer this test and vot­ed to impeach Don­ald J. Trump.

As I cast my own vote, I thought of my oath to pro­tect and defend the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca.

I thought of my parents—who put an ocean between them and their 16-year-old child because they believed Amer­i­ca was worth it. I thought of the respon­si­bil­i­ty I have to my own beloved child and future gen­er­a­tions to ensure Amer­i­ca con­tin­ues to be worth it.

Mine was not a vote against any per­son — it was a vote for the Con­sti­tu­tion and for ‘We, the Peo­ple.’

Because I believe Amer­i­ca is so deeply worth it.

The Sen­ate must now con­duct a seri­ous, fair tri­al.

The grave­ness of the moment our nation finds itself in—and the Amer­i­can people—demand it.

It would be an affront to our Framers and the Con­sti­tu­tion and dis­re­spect­ful to the Amer­i­can peo­ple if Mitch McConnell puts on a sham tri­al. His­to­ry and the Amer­i­can peo­ple are watch­ing.

“This is a solemn day for our democ­ra­cy,” said Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee Chair Tom Perez. “House Democ­rats ran for office not to impeach a pres­i­dent, but to improve people’s lives and ful­fill their oath to defend the Con­sti­tu­tion. The pres­i­dent vio­lat­ed his oath, and in the face of his abuse of pow­er and obstruc­tion of Con­gress, the House had a respon­si­bil­i­ty to hold him account­able.”

“Repub­li­cans in Con­gress were giv­en the same choice: to pro­tect the Con­sti­tu­tion and serve Amer­i­can vot­ers, or to defend this president’s lies and cor­rup­tion. They chose the lat­ter, and the Amer­i­can peo­ple will not for­get their betray­al.”

“They will make their voic­es heard at the bal­lot box. And when the his­to­ry of this day is writ­ten, those who vot­ed for impeach­ment will be remem­bered for their courage and com­mit­ment to pro­tect­ing our democ­ra­cy.”

After the votes took place, Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi held a press con­fer­ence with six of her com­mit­tee chairs at which she indi­cat­ed that the House will not trans­mit the arti­cles of impeach­ment or name impeach­ment tri­al man­agers until House lead­er­ship believes that the Sen­ate will con­duct a fair tri­al. Dur­ing Q&A, Pelosi refused to com­mit to deliv­er the arti­cles with­in a giv­en time­frame… or at all.

Pelosi’s move is bril­liant. By hold­ing onto the arti­cles of impeach­ment until the House sees rules for a fair tri­al, her cau­cus scram­bles Mitch McConnel­l’s scheme to orches­trate a speedy acquit­tal for Trump in the Unit­ed States Sen­ate.

We thank each mem­ber of the Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives who vot­ed today to impeach Don­ald John Trump. Today’s action was painful­ly nec­es­sary. If our repub­lic is to sur­vive, then our Con­sti­tu­tion must be more than a scrap of paper. Its words only mean some­thing if we abide by them.

Today, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives took a stand for the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States, for the future our democ­ra­cy, and for account­able lead­er­ship.

Don­ald Trump believes he is above the law. His fol­low­ers and the peo­ple who work for him in the White House seem to see him as akin to a king or an emper­or who has a divine right to occu­py the high­est office in this land indef­i­nite­ly.

But we are a democ­ra­cy. We are not sub­jects of a king. We are not the oppressed coun­try­men of a dic­ta­tor. We are a free and inde­pen­dent coun­try of hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple with the impor­tant pow­er and the great respon­si­bil­i­ty to decide who our lead­ers shall be through fair and reg­u­lar elec­tions.

We require that the Pres­i­dent take an oath to uphold and defend the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States. Don­ald Trump vio­lat­ed that oath. It was absolute­ly nec­es­sary that the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives hold him account­able.

Had the House failed to act, then Con­gress would have become com­plic­it in Trump’s wrong­do­ing, just like the polit­i­cal par­ty he now heads, which at this point has arguably for­feit­ed the right to be called the Repub­li­can Par­ty.

Today is not a day for cel­e­bra­tion, but it is a day to be thank­ful. More than two hun­dred of the peo­ple’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives just vot­ed to hold a law­less pres­i­dent account­able, includ­ing many who rep­re­sent large num­bers of Trump vot­ers. We salute, hon­or, and rec­og­nize their courage. They have dis­charged their con­sti­tu­tion­al duties. They give us hope that our repub­lic will endure.

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2 Comments

  1. It’s about time.

    # by Jason Common :: December 20th, 2019 at 11:14 PM
  2. Wel­come to a very exclu­sive club, Mr. Trump. A club that includes only two oth­er men to have held the high­est office in the land: the Cir­cle of Impeached Pres­i­dents!

    # by Madison Sun :: December 20th, 2019 at 11:15 PM