Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, issued this statement following the announcement by the Speaker of the House to proceed with drafting Articles of Impeachment for the Impeachment of the President of the United States:
This morning, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced that she had directed the chairmen of certain committees to begin the process of drafting Articles of Impeachment. While I have maintained that this is a sober and somber process, I also believe the President—through his conduct and his obstruction of Congress’s fundamental right to oversight—has brought this matter upon himself, through his conduct. He left the Congress of the United States no choice.
On Tuesday, the House Intelligence Committee released its report and voted that it be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee for consideration of Articles of Impeachment. Indeed, the conclusions of the Intelligence Committee’s report are damning, uncontested, and revelatory of a President and a team determined to use the levers of government for their personal gain. The report thoroughly documents the President’s abuse of power, his betrayal of the national trust, and how he sought to corrupt our elections. It details the fact that the President sought to shakedown a foreign ally, Ukraine, by withholding aid that ally needed in its hot war with Russia, our shared adversary. And, the report details a concerted effort to obstruct Congress’s effort to investigate the bribery scheme. Indeed, the report details what all in Congress experienced—that the President, in sweeping and unprecedented fashion, categorically obstructed the Congress’s investigation into his wrongdoing.
Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee, of which I am senior member, held its first hearing, pursuant to H.Res. 660. The Committee heard from learned academicians from some of this nation’s finest law schools, on the propriety of impeachment against the facts outlined in the Intelligence Committee’s report. The witnesses categorically agreed that the President’s abuse of power was wrong – and the majority said that it was the pinnacle of impeachable conduct. And it was made clear that the only mechanism for a president who has abused the office for personal gain is impeachment. The majority of the witnesses also agreed that Trump’s actions constituted an abuse of power, betrayal of our national security and a corruption of our elections – and these were the biggest concerns of the Framers.
That is why today’s action is necessary. No one is above the law, not even the President, and nothing less than our Republic, and the integrity of our elections, are at stake. That is why the House is proceeding with drafting Articles of Impeachment. This president will be held to account.