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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), a member of the House Judiciary Committee and Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, delivered the following remarks during the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of House Resolution 755, Articles of Impeachment against President Donald J. Trump. During her remarks, Jayapal announced her intention to vote in favor of the articles.

Chairman Nadler, thank you.                                               

When I was just 16 years old, I came to this country by myself. My parents made the ultimate sacrifice of placing an ocean between them and their beloved child – because they believed America was worth it.

Nearly two decades later, I raised my hand and swore my oath to country and Constitution for the first time when I became a citizen of the greatest nation on earth.

For naturalized citizens like me, being an American is a conscious choice and a granted privilege, a dream we chase across deserts and seas to join the larger American story: one of generations overcoming every challenge and every obstacle – because America is worth it.

Why? What’s so different about this “shining city upon a hill?”

It is three words. “We, the people.”

America is a bold vision rooted in the fragile idea of a democracy in which power is derived not from the bloodlines of monarchs, but from the votes of people.

Ours is a nation of imagination and faith, all of us engaged in this great experiment of democracy. We take our power and collectively, through our elections, we entrust it to a President who must always act in OUR interest, not their own. 

The Framers believed in the promise of America, but they also knew the dangers of power unchecked.

And so, they gifted us the Constitution of the United States, the protective and connective tissue that functions as the highest law of our land – and which entrusts this body, the People’s House, the solemn responsibility to hold the Executive accountable.

And that is what we confront today.

The facts are clear: Donald Trump abused the power of the Office of the Presidency to pursue his own personal, political gain. And leveraged critically needed, Congressionally-approved military aid to coerce a fragile, foreign ally to interfere in our elections. 

This is not hearsay. The President was the first and best witness in this case. The President admitted to his wrongdoing and corrupt intent on national television. The President IS the smoking gun. 

His obstruction of Congress and blanket directive to deny us even a single witness, a single document, is unprecedented. And yet, in spite of that obstruction, multiple patriots came forward and provided damning, corroborating testimony. 

Understand the seriousness of what this means: President Trump has solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now, and he will do it again.

The smoking gun is already re-loaded and whether or not it gets fired—that is up to us.

This abuse of Presidential power and obstruction of Congress are the highest of Constitutional crimes and the gravest of betrayals. 

If we allow this President to put himself above the law, we allow ALL future presidents to be above the law. We submit then to the fact that we will no longer be a democracy, we will be a monarchy or a dictatorship.

This moment is a test. It is a test of the vision of our framers, the resilience of our Constitution, and the character of our elected officials.

As we cast our votes, we must reflect on our responsibility to our children and our children’s children. We must summon the courage to do what is right and to defend our democracy.

For this reason, I will vote to impeach Donald J. Trump—soberly; shouldering the responsibility that was given to me by my constituents; and honoring my oath to protect and defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America. 

Mine is not a vote against any person; it is a vote for the Constitution and for “we, the people.”

Because America is so deeply worth it.”

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