- Mr. Speaker:
- I come before this body today as a proud American and
as a servant of the American people, sworn to uphold the Constitution
of the United States.
- Throughout my tenure, I've always tried to speak the
truth. It's that commitment that brings me here today.
- We have a President who has misgoverned and a Congress
that has refused to hold him accountable. It is a grave situation and
I believe the stakes for our country are high.
- No American is above the law, and if we allow a President
to violate, at the most basic and fundamental level, the trust of the
people and then continue to govern, without a process for holding him
accountable-what does that say about our commitment to the truth? To the
Constitution? To our democracy?
- The trust of the American people has been broken. And
a process must be undertaken to repair this trust. This process must begin
with honesty and accountability.
- Leading up to our invasion of Iraq, the American people
supported this Administration's actions because they believed in our
President. They believed he was acting in good faith. They believed that
American laws and American values would be respected. That in the weightiness
of everything being considered, two values were rock solid-trust and truth.
- From mushroom clouds to African yellow cake to aluminum
tubes, the American people and this Congress were not presented the facts,
but rather were presented a string of untruths, to justify the invasion
- President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney and
then-National Security Advisor Rice, portrayed to the Congress and to
the American people that Iraq represented an imminent threat, culminating
with President Bush's claim that Iraq was six months away from developing
a nuclear weapon. Having used false fear to buy consent-the President
then took our country to war.
- This has grave consequences for the health of our democracy,
for our standing with our allies, and most of all, for the lives of our
men and women in the military and their families-who have been asked
to make sacrifices-including the ultimate sacrifice-to keep us safe
- Just as we expect our leaders to be truthful, we expect
them to abide by the law and respect our courts and judges. Here again,
the President failed the American people.
- When President Bush signed an executive order authorizing
unlawful spying on American citizens, he circumvented the courts, the
law, and he violated the separation of powers provided by the Constitution.
Once the program was revealed, he then tried to hide the scope of his
offense from the American people by making contradictory, untrue statements.
- President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect,
and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure
that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed
the trust of the American people.
- With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism,
I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what
is before us. To shy away from this responsibility would be easier. But
I have not been one to travel the easy road. I believe in this country,
and in the power of our democracy. I feel the steely conviction of one
who will not let the country I love descend into shame; for the fabric
of our democracy is at stake.
- Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others will
say this is an unimportant distraction to the plans of the incoming Congress.
But this is not about political gamesmanship.
- I am not willing to put any political party before my
- This, instead, is about beginning the long road back
to regaining the high standards of truth and democracy upon which our
great country was founded.
- Mr. Speaker:
- Under the standards set by the United States Constitution,
President Bush-along with Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of State
Rice-should be subject to the process of impeachment, and I have filed
H. Res. _ in the House of Representatives.
- To my fellow Americans, as I leave this Congress, it
is in your hands-to hold your representatives accountable, and to show
those with the courage to stand for what is right, that they do not stand
- Thank you.