WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn delivered the following remarks on the House floor ahead of the second vote to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
(Remarks as prepared for delivery.)
“Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the article of impeachment.
“Last Wednesday, we gathered to follow the Constitution’s simple instruction to count the electoral votes.
“This President refused to accept the clear election result. Instead, he sought to overturn it, inciting a violent insurrection.
“Enough Members of both parties upheld our oath to the Constitution and were not deterred from doing our constitutional duty.
“Today, we must do our constitutional duty once again. While the President failed in his attempt to upend our democracy, last Wednesday’s events make clear that if we do not hold him accountable and remove him from power, a future attempt could succeed.
“The survival of our democracy depends on defeated candidates accepting their defeats. It has been done in every Presidential election since 1864, however stark the differences between the candidates.
“The January 6th joint session is a vital part of the transfer of power, not the contest for power. Vice President Gore understood this, accepting and certifying his defeat in the 2000 election. Vice President Biden understood this, accepting and certifying this President’s victory in the 2016 election.
“This President’s refusal to take part in a peaceful transfer of power—and his role in causing last week’s violence—pose an existential threat to our constitutional democracy.
“This threat must be extinguished immediately. This President must be impeached and convicted, and he must be prevented from attempting to seize power ever again.”