Blunt Rochester Announces Support for Beginning Impeachment Proceedings
Washington, July 25, 2019 | Andrew Donnelly (202-225-4165)
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, announced her support for beginning impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
“Today, after careful consideration and with a profound sense of gravity, I now support opening impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. This was not a decision that I reached quickly or lightly, and I have continued to wrestle with the enormity of its consequences. However, after two years of investigations, hundreds of pages of documents, and hours of testimony, this much is clear – the Russian government waged a sweeping and systematic attack on our democracy. Several top Trump campaign officials not only accepted but welcomed that interference. Five of those officials have been convicted of serious crimes related to the President’s campaign. As the Special Counsel embarked upon investigating this attack on our democracy, the President and his allies went out of their way to stonewall the investigation. From withholding information, to refusing to sit for an interview, to attempting to fire the Special Counsel, the President on ten separate occasions attempted to, or outright obstructed justice. And it is clear that without the Office of Legal Counsel’s policy against indicting a sitting President, Donald Trump would very likely be charged with a crime. For these reasons, the House should move forward with impeachment proceedings.
While I believe we must continue pursuing oversight through the six committees of jurisdiction in the House while also pursuing the facts in the courts, I believe opening an impeachment inquiry gives us firmer legal ground on which to stand. An impeachment inquiry also gives the American people the opportunity to more clearly understand the conduct of this President and his allies. During Director Mueller’s seven hours of testimony yesterday, he made it very clear that President Trump was not exonerated in his investigation and that the President wasn’t always truthful in the written answers he submitted. These uncertainties, along with the evident misconduct of the President, warrant an impeachment inquiry so that the American people can finally hear the whole truth that they are entitled to.
The President may have a misguided interpretation of the powers granted to him under Article II of the Constitution, but Article I is abundantly clear – the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment. One of the prevailing sentiments I heard expressed during yesterday’s hearing was a fear that all of this will become the new normal; that foreign interference in our elections will be casually accepted, if not welcomed; that future Administrations will simply ignore the oversight duties of Congress; and that future Presidents will commit crimes with impunity knowing that there are no consequences. This must not become our new normal. We must stand up and demand accountability. Our democracy depends on it.”