WASHINGTON, D.C. – Majority Whip James E. Clyburn made the following comments after his weekly Whip meeting this morning regarding Speaker Pelosi’s announcement that she is instructing the Judiciary Committee to begin drafting articles of impeachment against the President of the United States.

“I thought it was a great speech. It was one of those unforgettable speeches. I thought her tone was reflective of the times we are in.  As I said to her in the meeting just then, her oft stated quote from Thomas Paine, ‘the times have found us,’ I think is very apropos to this.  And I have said often in a follow up to her statement that Thomas Paine also wrote in that little pamphlet called The Crisis that ‘these are times that try men’s soul and summer soldiers and sunshine patriots will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.’ And so, I think what we have here is times that call for real patriots, not sunshine patriots, but real patriots who stand up in defense of this country.  This is a republic, and I hope we can keep it.

“I mentioned in the Whip meeting this morning this is not an issue that we are going to whip. This is an issue that we think each and every one of our members takes stock of who we are, and what we are, and what kind of country we want to have. I think some of the professors on yesterday made it clear that if these activities are not impeachable, then we probably ought to amend the Constitution of the United States and get rid of impeachment altogether.

“I did say to the Caucus this morning, that my own personal philosophy which I keep right over my head, at my desk, is a little poster of a turtle. I have been worshipping turtles since my childhood.  I have them scattered all over my office and all over my home.  The turtle to me is a metaphor for public service.  The shell is there to protect us from all that surrounds us, but if you ever want to make progress, the turtle has to stick its neck out.  I think if we want to make progress, we will do what is necessary and sometimes that entails sticking your neck out.  We can be safe under the shell, but I hope that we all want to make progress for this great country of ours. And I hope, that as we move forward on this question, that the rest of the country sees us as being protectors of this great republic.”