Transcript for Majority Leader Steny Hoyer concludes arguments for impeachment
One minute to these things majority leader that some stores. The majority of the latest recognized for long. But thank the chairman for yielding. This is a troubled time. Let's say a time. This is time we're all of us have stood almost to a person. And law amended the violence. And the assault on this capital. And the assault on democracy itself. It was right to do that. But this impeachment ought to be put into perspective. Of what the Republican. Chair of the Republican conference. Said it was. She said the president of the United States. Some of them job. Assembled. The mom. And lit the flame. Of that attack. There's never been she said. A greater betrayal by a president of the united states of this office of his office. And his oath. To the constitution. That is why we are here. Two day. That is why we are here today. Just a week before. That president. At the request of the American people will leave office. And the issue. Is there. What. Do we do. Stuff 433. Of us I believe or year. Joseph on behalf of the American people to respond. To what. Represented Cheney. Described. Happened. On the sixth of January. They mob. Assembled mind. Some ended. My. And then spoken to to light the flame. Of the attack. To stop this deal. As we said here. Exercising our constitutional. Duty and to his great credit. The vice president of the United States following the constitution. Of the United States of America. Notwithstanding the fact that he was opportune by the president. Not to do so. That mobbed set by the president. To stop this deal. Did so for a few hours. Not to steal but the constitutional duty that we hand. And so we ask ourselves what do we do. What is our responsibility what should we say it. In light of only the civil war. Has an analogy but doesn't mean there haven't been demonstrations in Washington before and demonstrations throughout this country before. But it is the first. And only visible presence of other than. The 9/11. Attack on this nation. Which came from abroad. And had a plane aimed at our. Capitol dome. This attack. Was not from abroad. It was as Liz Cheney said. Summoned. Assembled. An inflamed. By the president. Of the United States. Of America. Who in Liz Cheney said. The words. That there has never been any greater betrayal by a president of the united states of his office and his well both to the constitution. I pride myself as a member of this congress who for forty years. Has worked in a bipartisan fashion. What many. Bureau leaders and due to this day. But are we to remain silent. In the face of Liz Cheney he's saying this was the greatest betrayal. Of the duty of the Prez the United States in history. Our witness stand silent will waste and sign up will we not stand up. And say. This. Is not acceptable. Madam speaker for four years Donald Trump has made no effort to hide his ambitions. Or his lacking of Republican principles. Not our principles. But the principles that Abraham Lincoln was just quoted as having said. Your president. Our president. Has never displayed those in the four years he's been president of the United States. He is allowed a little constraint on his worst inclinations. His desire for autocracy and its glorification of violence have not been tempered. But rationalize. Rationalized. By those who sought to profit financially and politically. From their proximity to power. Upon the foundations of virtue. Reason and patient wisdom laid down by George Washington is our first president Donald Trump trump has constructed a glass palace of lies. Fear mongering. And so addition. Last Wednesday on January 6 the nation in the world. Watched it shatter to pieces. There can be no mistaking any longer than the kind of man sitting in the Oval Office shorts and tensions. And capabilities. The curtain has been pulled back. The office to which he was elected could not tamper. Or reform him. Washington's legacy was passed down to us not as written the crazed. Mr. state of the house is not an order. This gentleman did Salmons correct the house will be in order. Enter Washington's legacy was passed down to us not as written decrees. But understood. Norms. How we ought to act how we ought to conduct ourselves. Term after term each occupant is observe those norms out of a recognition that our constitution's articles are not the only preservative. Of our democracy. For more than two centuries madam speaker whenever those norms were tested new strain good and virtuous citizens. On both sides. Of the found common purpose and reaffirming. Those norms. But memory fades. And from time to time it must be refreshed. Better speaker is the framers emerge from the constitution convention Benjamin Franklin was asked whether they have made America. A monarchy. Or republic should probably all of us know this response. They republic. He answered. If you can keep it. That's the question today. If we can keep it. And the way we keep it is to say. No. To actions. And words. That do not. Promote the keeping. Of that republic. For millennia people of understood go to republic. There's only a staple is and lasting as the citizens. And leaders who commit themselves to a its upkeep. This president shown us. He's not committed to that project. His tweaks. Every day. Have shown he is not committed to that project in Dade he openly disdains it and appears to prefer the alternative. But what are the rest of us. Those of who have the honor in the great privilege. And the weighty responsibility. To represent the views of 750000. Of our fellow citizens. We in this congress have an opportunity. No aid to. To demonstrate our commitment both as leaders and its citizens. To keeping America a republic. A republic that resolves. Its differences. Not through. Being ordered to come to the capital to prevent them from. Stealing the election. Which was an absurd assertion from the very first day it was made. We cannot erase. The last four years madame speaker we cannot turn back the clock but we Chan looked to the ideals and principles inherited from great president. Like Washington. Mike Jefferson. Then yes certainly. Like Abraham Lincoln. And Franklin Roosevelt. And from outstanding Americans like Frederick Douglass. Harriet Tubman Susan Anthony Cesar Chavez Martin Luther King Thurgood Marshall. Our beloved John Lewis. And yes our BG. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Who taught us a lot about equality and inclusion. It's up to us to restore the vibrancy. Madam speaker of our democracy by reaffirming. Our commitment to the norms they passed on to us and entrusted to our care. But to make that possible madam speaker we must rise to this moment. And not only affirm the virtues we cherish. But reject. Devices we have whole war. That's what I'm asking my fellow representatives on both sides of the aisle to do today. We all stood and we aboard the violence. Not occurred. And the threat to the very democracy that we hold so dear and swore and a note. To protect and uphold. Reject the seat. Reject fear mongering. Rejects addition. Tyranny. And insurrection. Reject a demand for field two to one man over fidelity. To one's country. When I addressed the house during the debate over the articles of impeachment in December 2019 I've said the following. We need not ask. Who will be the first ashore courage by standing up to president trump. The question we must ask. Who will be the last. To find it. Senator McConnell. Represented Cheney. A number of other represents who have spoken on this floor with great courage from speaker. It appears there is much fear of Donald Trump. There's much fear of Donald Trump's tweets. There's much fear of Donald Trump's. Retribution. For opposition. In my view Donald Trump demands. Absolute loyalty. And gives none in return. I hope others will join. Liz Cheney. Hope all those will be honest with themselves and win their constituents. As Liz Cheney was saying there has never been a greater portrayal by a president of the united states of his office and his oath to the constitution. Don't dismiss that. She is the daughter of a vice president of the United States. Who was the whip. When I came to congress. As she has taken a stand I hope others will as well madam speaker. Soon. The clerk will call the roll. And asked for our votes. Make no mistake. This will be no ordinary roll call. This is about our country. Our constitution. And our democracy. These votes will be inscribed on the role of history. A record of courage than of our commitment to country and constitution. Of our commitment to the rule of law and renewal of that which we inherited. And hope to pass on. Unbroken. On shattered. With just seven days left in the president's term this vote is not about timing. It is about principle. And fidelity to our constitution. It concerns the clear and present danger facing our country. Not only in these final days of the trump administration. But in the weeks months and years that will follow. It is about the necessity to demonstrate to this generation. And if future generations the duty we shared to protect our democracy. Every single. Day. Do not pretend my friends that it was simply those who came into the capital. And courage of our president to stop the steel. At any cost. And by the way. If the vice president doesn't do my bidding. And follows the constitution. Sweep him away. We know that this president would never emulate George Washington. And give up his power for the good of our republic even after losing an election. Somebody talked about a peaceful transfer transition there has not been a peaceful transition. I don't know what you're talking about yelling about living in the same country I am. It was just days ago that the president. After committing this terrible act. Thought he had to admit that Joseph Biden might yes be president of the United States. We know that this president neither recognizes norms nor reflects the rule of law we know that this president. Is not a patriot. So I asked this house. Who among us can't speak who will be recorded on the role of history for their courage. Their commitment. The constitution. And their country. We do this today not for politics. We don't need this for politics. Georgia showed that. There was no mistake in this election. We do this today. To preserve and protect this great to march from the we do it for the America we love. Our America. The beautiful. Whose founders sacrifices. We praise in song O beautiful for hero's proved. In liberating strife who more than self. Their country loved. And mercy more than life. Sadly. Madam president coach. Speaker. As our current president the appropriate words would be. Hulu less than self. His country loved. And victory. More than truth. Vote for this. For America. For a constitution. For democracy. For history. I yield back the balance my time. Outside critics made it a try.
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