Connolly Calls for Impeachment Inquiry into President Trump
Washington, August 8, 2019
Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee, released the following statement calling for the House of Representatives to start an impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump.
“In their wisdom, the Founders rejected the idea of an executive branch that could go unchecked, and granted the power of impeachment to Congress - one of the most serious means of oversight we can undertake - to hold accountable those in high office, including the President. It is a serious action that must not be rushed, abused, or taken lightly. But after careful thought and consideration, I believe the time has come for the House of Representatives to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump. Four reasons lead me to this conclusion.
First, the gravity of the revelations in the Special Counsel’s report and testimony before Congress should trouble all Americans. The report details at least ten instances in which the President of the United States obstructed justice. Further, it chillingly warns, “The protection of the criminal justice system from corrupt acts by any person – including the President – accords with the fundamental principle of our government that “[n]o [person] in this country is so high that he is above the law.” I firmly believe, but for the flawed Justice Department opinion, President Trump would be indicted for his actions.
Second, I have seen firsthand the Trump administration’s across the board defiance of Congress’ legitimate investigations and subpoenas on everything from adding a citizenship question to the census to this Administration’s cruel and inhumane child separation policy. If these constitutionally-mandated oversight responsibilities are left undefended, our very democracy is threatened.
Third, the American people have also been witness to a president who at every opportunity has chosen to disregard the rule of law and our constitution for his own enrichment. He continues to violate the emoluments clause and his conflicts of interest are rampant. He makes decisions not for the good of the country, but for his own benefit.
Finally, I caution that we cannot allow ourselves to become so desensitized to the President’s behavior that there are no consequences. This is a man who continues to debase the office he holds. He has instilled fear and incited violence. He has called American communities infested, he has told members of Congress to go back to where they came from, he stoked the flames of white supremacy by repeatedly referring to an invasion of foreigners, and he has questioned the allegiance of our fellow Americans. At every moment, whether it was in the aftermath of Charlottesville or El Paso or Dayton, he has failed to heal our country and call us to our better angels. Instead, he has stained the Oval Office with his racism, xenophobia, and bigotry.
We stand at a perilous moment for our country. No individual should be above the law. No individual should act the way this president behaves without consequence. No administration should be allowed to disregard the constitution at their whim. Now more than ever, Congress must assert its constitutional role and that is why I believe we must immediately start an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.”