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Congressman Price Impeachment Statement for the Congressional Record

December 18, 2019
Speeches
December 18, 2019

Madam Speaker, impeachment was designed by our framers as the ultimate constitutional protection against presidential misconduct, reserved, as North Carolina’s James Iredell put it, for “acts of great injury to the community.” The impeachable acts the framers envisioned were not disputed policy positions, as disastrous as they might be, nor flaws in character, as deep as those might be, but acts that threaten the very foundation of the country and Constitution we vowed to protect.    

In this moment, the future of our democracy hangs in the balance.

The evidence is abundantly clear: President Donald Trump abused his power by asking a vulnerable foreign leader both to investigate his political rival and to validate a baseless conspiracy theory propagated by Russia, while congressionally appropriated defense aid and a coveted White House visit hung in the balance. He then blocked Congressional investigations into his abuses.

These abuses threaten the integrity of our elections, corrupt our diplomacy, and undermine our national security. Underlying it all is the President’s often-expressed conviction that his powers are constitutionally unlimited.

We often regard constitutional “checks and balances” as indestructible underpinnings of our democracy. In fact, they are neither fixed nor unbreakable. President Trump has demonstrated this beyond all doubt. 

When constitutional boundaries are broken, it’s we—living, breathing people within our institutions who must rise to defend our democracy. It is this accountability that prevents creeping authoritarianism and protects our representative democracy, where no one, including the President, is above the law.

It’s up to the Congress, the first branch of government, to apply the remedy that the Constitution prescribes, because the threats to our democracy are real and present. The eyes of history are upon us.

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