I rise today to hold Donald John Trump accountable for his repeated abuse of power, his deliberate obstruction of the House’s constitutionally-mandated oversight responsibilities, and his unprecedented misuse of the presidency to undermine the rule of law, weaken the separation of powers and subvert our Constitution by dangling $391 million in congressionally appropriated tax dollars over the head of an embattled ally in order to coerce a fraudulent investigation into a potential political opponent.
Our founders feared a lawless, amoral president who willfully puts national security at risk for his own personal gain.
Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress may not be flashy – but the actions of this president are perhaps the most basic examples of unconstitutional.
Forty five years ago, I was an 18-year old House intern, and I became a witness to history. Richard Nixon also believed he was above the law and that the Constitution granted him unlimited power. In 1974, members of the Republican leadership acted courageously by confronting Mr. Nixon to make it clear that their ultimate loyalty was not to one man, but to upholding the Constitution.
But today, that courage seems nowhere to be found.
The inescapable and uncontested evidence is that Donald Trump violated his Oath of Office.
My friends, you can defend Donald Trump, or you can defend the Constitution. History will not permit you to do both.
For the sake of our republic, do your duty.
Prepared for delivery on the U.S. House floor on December 18.
U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay represents Missouri’s 1st Congressional District.