Gutiérrez Joins Effort to Impeach the President
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) participated in a press conference at which articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were introduced in the House of Representatives. The articles of impeachment were authored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Gutiérrez has joined as an original co-sponsor along with Rep. Al Green (D-TX) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) who also spoke at the press conference, and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY).
Summary of articles of impeachment prepared by Rep. Cohen: https://cohen.house.gov/sites/cohen.house.gov/files/Articles.Summary.PDF
Text of articles of impeachment: https://cohen.house.gov/sites/cohen.house.gov/files/Articles.FullText.pdf
A press release from Rep. Cohen’s office, which quotes Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) among others, is here: http://bit.ly/2htSah6
The following is the prepared statement made by Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez at the press conference.
A video of the Congressman’s remarks is here: https://www.facebook.com/RepGutierrez/videos/10155882949233205/
Rep. Gutiérrez is a Member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Let me put this in context.
There are many reasons why I think the President is an awful President and an awful person, but not all of those reasons rise to the level of impeaching a sitting President.
We are not seeking his impeachment because of what he did before he was President. For example, he proudly bragged about sexually assaulting women. And he has been linked to such a long list of sexually inappropriate conduct that I think it is fair to conclude that he is hostile to women in general.
We are not seeking to impeach him because of the growing racial and ethnic tension in this country, that, in my opinion, this President knowingly and willingly activates by playing up racial hatred and bias. And he thrives on it. He didn’t denounce Nazi marches and racism because he knows he benefits from it.
I am not joining this effort because of his sustained anti-Latino bias. He started his campaign calling Mexican immigrants murderers and rapists. He does not think that an American-born judge with a Spanish sounding last name is legitimate, just as he does not believe that Latinos voting is legitimate. And I think he is taking the country in exactly the wrong direction on immigration by taking documented immigrants and making them undocumented so that he can deport them.
I think the Muslim Ban and ending DACA are fundamentally hurtful and harmful to the United States and our values.
I could probably name off another dozen examples of how President Trump is doing deep, permanent damage to the United States and all of our people by taking away health care, erasing environmental protections, rolling back protections for the LGBTQ community and working people and immigrants, and God knows I think what he is doing – or not doing -- on Puerto Rico is deeply offensive.
However, what elevates certain actions to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors are the following examples.
President Trump asked the Vice President and others to leave the room so that he could have a private one-on-one conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey to tell him to back off of the Russia investigation.
You do not ask witnesses to leave the room unless you know you are committing a crime and in this case it was obstruction of justice.
The President once said “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it,” and he has kept his word on that promise, by continuing to line his pockets with money and to drive business to his brands using the public office of President. That’s not right and that’s not legal.
I think the ongoing investigations will uncover even more instances where the President has violated the law and violated the public’s trust and I am glad those investigations are still moving forward, despite, in some instances, attempts by the President to slow them down or derail them.
This is not a substitute for the investigations that should and will go forward. But the Congress needs to get started. The U.S. Congress, and specifically the Judiciary Committee on which I sit with Steve Cohen, is the place where impeachment starts and if we failed to file these articles of impeachment, we would be failing at doing our jobs.
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