All nine members of Massachusetts’ US House delegation voted to impeach President Trump on Wednesday. Below are excerpts of the statements they made on the House floor or submitted for the record.
US Representative Jim McGovern, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, introduced the articles of impeachment and the parameters of the debate.
“This was not a protest, this was an insurrection,” he told his colleagues. “This was a well-organized attack on our country that was incited by Donald Trump. Domestic terrorists broke into the United States Capitol that day and it’s a miracle more people didn’t die. As my colleagues and I were being evacuated to safety, I never, ever will forget what I saw what I looked into the eyes of those attackers right in the Speaker’s Lobby there. I saw evil, Mr. Speaker. Our country came under attack – not from a foreign nation, but from within. These were not protestors. These were not patriots. These were traitors. These were domestic terrorists, Mr. Speaker. And they were acting under the orders of Donald Trump. Though some of my colleagues on the other side have suggested that we just move on from this horror, but to gloss over it would be an abdication of our duty. Others on the Republican side have talked about unity. But we can’t have unity without accountability. And I’m not about to be lectured by people who just voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election. America was attacked and we must respond. Even when the cause of this violence resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...”
Representative Katherine Clark: “Suffragist and abolitionist Lucy Stone said: ‘If we speak the truth fearlessly, we shall add to our number those who will turn the scale to the side of equal and full justice in all things.’ The truth is, President Trump incited a violent attack against the United States government. The truth is, President Trump spent his presidency inflaming hate, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and violence. The truth is, he was enabled by all those who perpetuated the lie that the most secure election in our nation’s history was stolen. The truth is that these seditious actions left five dead, our Capitol besieged, our security threatened, and our democracy hanging in the balance. And the truth is, a vote to impeach is our resounding declaration that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Representative Jake Auchincloss: “Madam Chair, a mob desecrated our Capitol, killed a police officer and attempted to overthrow our government on the orders of the president of the United States. Immediate impeachment is our duty under a Constitution that compels us to defend against enemies foreign and domestic. As a Marine officer, I defended our democracy from foreign enemies. As a member of Congress, I am solemnly resolved to defend it from domestic ones. With this vote, we strike a blow for moral leadership.”
Representative Lori Trahan: “Madame Speaker, I stand before you today in disbelief. Disbelief that after the president incited a violent mob to commit an act of insurrection and remained silent as police officers were assaulted, the Capitol was ransacked, and members of this body fled for their lives. That there are still members of his party who refuse to hold him accountable. It’s because of that inaction that there is only one path forward to put an end to this presidency. Donald Trump must be impeached, removed from office, and barred from ever holding the Office of the Presidency again.”
Representative Seth Moulton: “Mr. Speaker there are more troops right now in Washington D.C. than in Afghanistan. And they are here to defend us against the commander in chief, the president of the United States and his mob. I would ask my colleagues to look at the faces of those young Americans defending democracy, defending us, and find an ounce of their courage to do the right thing as several Republicans have, and take a tough vote for the future of democracy, for the future of our country.”
Representative Bill Keating did not speak on the House floor, where most speakers were limited to 30 seconds, but offered this statement:
“Opponents of this resolution cited the need for unity as reason to oppose impeachment. The key issue is being united around what? Donald Trump summoned, assembled, and lit the flame that set fire to this attack. So are we united around indifference and inaction to this or rather are we united to preserve free and fair elections, the transfer of power, and our democratic values? Those members on the other side of the aisle who put partisanship aside and democracy and love of country first join us as the true uniters.”