Madam Chair, I think we need to remark how far this president has lowered our country.

First, they destroy the norms and the values of society. Things that we'd always taken for granted. You don't mock people with disabilities. Men don't mock women's bodies on television. You don't ridicule people and give them obnoxious nicknames, at least after you graduate from the 3rd grade. You don't falsely accuse other political leaders of treason. You don't accuse other political leaders' parents of assassinating President Kennedy. You don't use disgusting, profane language to disparage other countries. And you don't call neo-Nazis and Klansmen 'very fine people.' You don't give aid and comfort to the dictators of the world like Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin by flattering them and being their sycophants.

But then you destroy the norms and the values of your office. You call the press the enemy of the people, you call true facts 'fake news' and you call fake news 'true facts.' You vilify and you demonize the hardworking employees of the Department of Justice and the FBI. You accuse them of being part of a fantasy Deep State conspiracy just for doing their jobs. You falsely claim that millions of people voted illegally while you deny and dismiss the findings of Special Counsel Mueller that there was a sweeping and systematic campaign to disrupt our elections in 2016. You refuse to divest yourself of your business interests or to put them in a blind trust as other presidents have done. You travel to your own business properties and the hotels on government expense. You double initiation fees to Mar-a-Lago. You turn the government of the United States into a money-making operation for your family, for your businesses, and for yourself.

And then you violate and undermine the laws of the United States. You sabotage the Affordable Care Act to try to deny millions of people access to their health care. You separate children from their parents at the border. You pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, making our country an international environmental pariah and outlaw state. You lie about what science has shown about climate change. You call it a Chinese hoax. You collect millions of dollars from foreign princes, and kings, and governments in violation of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution.

And now the president, aided and abetted by the attorney general, tears at the very fabric of our Constitution. He orders that a curtain be pulled down over the executive branch. He says there will be no cooperation with the lawful demands of Congress for information. Congress shouldn't be looking anymore. The president-king declares, this is all. It's done. No tax returns, no Mueller report, no witnesses, not Don McGahn, no [DOJ official] John Gore. The president declares himself above and beyond the law.

James Madison said, knowledge will forever govern ignorance and those who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. The people through the Constitution gave us that power. We must exercise it. If you act with contempt for the people in Congress, we will find you in contempt of the people and of Congress.

~ Rep. Jamie Raskin












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