Scott Statement on Articles of Impeachment Against President Trump

December 17, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump:

“Every Member of Congress swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and that oath should be the guide for all of us when considering articles of impeachment against the President of the United States. There has been considerable public debate over what constitutes impeachable offenses, as the Constitution names them as ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ Under normal circumstances, the country could wait until the next election to remove an undesirable president from office. However, our founders included impeachment in the Constitution for times when an official’s conduct was so egregious, we could not wait for the next election to remove that individual from office. President Trump’s Ukraine scheme was intended to influence the 2020 election to make it an unfair process, and that highlights a key reason why he must be impeached and removed from office.

“Multiple House Committees have conducted extensive investigations into the President’s conduct. The facts are uncontested. President Trump invited Ukraine to interfere in our next presidential election and leveraged desperately needed military aid and a high-profile visit to the White House to promote his scheme. This constitutes an attack on our electoral system and democracy itself and is a gross abuse of presidential power. This scheme needs to be viewed in the context of other actions by this President. The Mueller report found multiple instances of obstruction of justice committed by the President, and that obstruction has continued. Furthermore, the President has continued to violate the Emoluments Clause by profiting from foreign and domestic business transactions from the moment he took office, and that violation has continued.

“With the Ukraine scheme, the President has admitted in public to actions that sacrifice national security for his own personal, political gain and then he insisted that he did nothing wrong. His ongoing attack of the whistleblower serves to discourage other whistleblowers from coming forward, his intimidation of witnesses during impeachment proceedings, his orders to witnesses to ignore subpoenas, and his invitation to China to meddle in our next election all indicate that, left unchecked, this President will not cease his misconduct and will seek to do it again. The President continues to put his own personal and political gain above the law and his conduct in these matters constitutes clear abuses of power and an ongoing threat to our democracy.

“If the President had simply acknowledged the basic fact that trying to sabotage the next presidential election is wrong, and that he would not continue such behavior, we could be discussing the question of waiting until the next election to express our views on his conduct. However, that is not the case. President Trump continues to obstruct properly convened investigations and he continues to abuse his power by trying to undermine the next presidential election.

“For all of these reasons, I will vote for both articles of impeachment.

“I came to the 116th Congress to serve the people of Virginia’s Third Congressional District, and to focus on my work as chair of the Committee on Education and Labor. Committee Democrats have been working to expand access to the building blocks of a strong middle class – a quality education, a rewarding job, and affordable health care. The House has already passed the Raise the Wage Act, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, the Butch Lewis Act, the Dignity in Aging Act, and the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. The Committee has also approved the College Affordability Act, the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and other critical legislation awaiting a vote by the full House. Later this week, the House will ratify the USMCA with strong labor protections.

“However, if we expect our democracy to survive, President Trump’s abuse of power cannot be ignored. No one is above the law.”

# # #