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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

The 2nd Trump Impeachment Vote; Now: House Debating Article of Impeachment. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired January 13, 2021 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(CROSSTALK)

SPEAKER: The gentleman's time has expired.

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-CA): With that, I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentleman's time has expired. The gentleman from Ohio reserves.

JORDAN: Reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York is recognized.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from Louisiana, Mr. Richmond.

[13:00:02]

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Louisiana is recognized for one minute.

REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D-LA): Madam Speaker, I rise today in my last floor speech in this body, to do what I was sworn to do on the first day -- to protect and defend the Constitution. President Trump put the domestic terrorists on notice by saying "stand back and stand by." He then summoned them to D.C., directed them to march on the Capitol, and then he sat back and watched the insurrection.

Some of my colleagues, some of which may well be co-conspirators, in their latest attempt to placate and please this unfit president, suggest that we shouldn't punish Trump for his actions in order to unify the country. That is the climax of foolishness.

Let me suggest to them stand up, man up, woman up, and defend this Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, including Donald J. Trump. In the first impeachment, Republicans said "we didn't need to impeach him because he learned his lesson, so no need to remove him." Well, we said if we didn't remove him, he would do it again.

SPEAKER: The gentleman's time has expired.

RICHMOND: Simply put, we told you so. SPEAKER: The gentleman's time has expired.

RICHMOND: Richmond out.

NADLER: I reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York reserves. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I yield two minutes to the gentlelady from Arizona, Ms. Lesko.

SPEAKER: The gentlewoman from Arizona is recognized for two minutes.

REP. DEBBIE LESKO (R-AZ): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in opposition to the resolution. At a time when our country needs unity, it is concerning that my Democratic colleagues have chosen to begin impeachment proceedings against a president with just seven days left in office.

All legal challenges have been exhausted. Congress has certified electors over objections and Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. President Trump has indicated he will peacefully transfer power to President-elect Biden next week. So why pursue impeachment just one week before he leaves office?

I've heard my colleagues on the other side of the aisle say they have to impeach the president because he is too dangerous to stay in power, yet they know that it is impossible for the Senate to remove him before his term expires. So what is the point?

This move sets a dangerous precedent for our nation. If Congress is going to impeach a president, it must not only be done after intense debate and deliberation, not rushed through in the eleventh hour to make a political point.

This impeachment attempt is dangerous for our country and has far- reaching implications for our future. And with that, Madam Speaker, I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentlewoman yields back. The gentleman from Ohio reserves. The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from New York, Mr. Jeffries.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York is recognized for one minute.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Madam Speaker, I did not come to Congress to impeach Donald Trump, but the constitutional crimes by an out-of- control president, inspired by his hatred and the big lie that he told, cannot be ignored.

Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense. It is what it is. The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was an act of insurrection, incited by Donald Trump. He is a clear and present danger to the health, safety and wellbeing of the American people and that is why this impeachment is necessary on the House floor for a second time with a bipartisan majority.

Violence will not win, insurrection will not win, sedition will not win, terror will not win, lawlessness will not win, mob rule will not win, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Democracy will prevail.

SPEAKER: The gentleman's time has expired. The gentleman from New York reserves. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, we reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman reserves. The gentleman from New York?

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from California, Mr. Aguilar.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from California is recognized for one minute.

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Thank you, Madam Speaker. On January 3rd, we stood here on this floor and swore an oath to defend our Constitution against enemies, foreign and domestic. Three days later, that oath was put to the test when a violent mob tried to break down those doors to stop us from performing our constitutional duty.

[13:05:06]

This mob was not without a leader. On that day, the president told them to walk to this Capitol, 16 blocks from where he stood. They were radicalized by his lies and conspiracy theories he spent months fueling, many of which I've heard on this floor the last week.

He needed to say only two words to end the violence -- "I concede" -- because that's what leaders do in a democracy, because that's what we do in the United States. They put politics aside and put country first. And as I look to our colleagues over on the other side, I wonder how many of them will demonstrate that leadership and join us in holding President Trump accountable for inciting this deadly attack.

How many will uphold our oath and put our country first, to defend this Constitution from the threat in the White House? To do anything less is to turn your back on the oath all together. Thank you, I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from New York reserves. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, we continue to reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio continues to reserve. The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield three minutes to the gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Cicilline.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Cicilline, is recognized for three minutes.

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Madam Speaker, for more than 220 years, since George Washington yielded the presidency to John Adams, the peaceful transfer of power has been a hallmark of our democracy. In this country, the will of the American people reigns supreme over the ambitions of any individual. Every single president has honored, upheld these principles until now.

Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election last November. It was a free and fair election. In fact, President Trump's own election security director called it the most secure election in U.S. history.

But for two months now, Donald Trump has refused to accept the will of the American people. Over and over again, he has told his supporters he didn't really lose, the election was stolen from him and from them, and as they grew angrier and angrier over this perceived justice, he told them there was still a way to keep him in power.

So as Congress prepared to meet for the sacred ritual of certifying the results of the presidential election, the president made his move. He directed his supporters to travel to Washington for a rally to stop the steal. They did.

He then -- once assembled, he had one final request -- march on the U.S. Capitol, do what it takes to help me hold onto power. "We will never give up, we will never concede," he told them. "You -- you -- if you don't fight like hell," he warned, "you're not going to have a country anymore."

The people on The Ellipse that day heard his message loud and clear. They answered his call for insurrection. As the third ranking Republican in this chamber put it, he "summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack."

Armed with guns, pipe bombs, bats, shields, zip ties and more, they set their sights on the U.S. Capitol. They stormed the citadel of our democracy. Hundreds of domestic terrorists did what Donald Trump wanted them to do -- they seized the Capitol and tried to end our country's 234 year experiment in democracy as the Trump family and White House aides watched gleefully on television.

They searched the halls of this building for the vice president, who they came to hang for treason. They overran the Office of the Speaker, who they came to assassinate. They sought, above all else, to seize control of our government in the name of Donald Trump.

Let that sink in -- the terrorists who stormed this building planned to hang the vice president, kill the speaker and topple our government. They took down the American flag and replaced it with a Trump flag.

I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are not planning to vote for this article, is this the kind of country you want to live in? What are you going to tell your children and grandchildren when they ask what you did in this moment? Did you stand for the republic or for this president? Heed the words of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president who told our country that a house divided against itself cannot stand. This great House, in which he served, cannot and will not endure if we do not stand together now.

The president and the terrorists who stormed these halls last Wednesday did not succeed in toppling our republic. We must ensure they never do. I implore you to join us in supporting this article and I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from New York reserves his time. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I will yield one minute to the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Van Drew.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for one minute.

REP. JEFFERSON VAN DREW (R-NJ): We've been here before, we've done this before, this has failed before. We fractured our nation using the same process before. Congress must be the glue that starts unifying everyone. By the time this process would conclude, the man they want out of office will no longer even be the president.

[13:10:00]

If we want unity, this is not the way.

America was and is the leading light in the world. This proceeding has continued to cloak our nation in darkness. Nearly half the country supports our current president. This takes their voice away.

We must be bigger and better than the most base of instincts that have been driving our political discourse. It is destroying us. Let's link arms with one another and begin to heal. Let's stop this impeachment.

I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from Ohio reserves.

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Neguse.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Colorado is recognized for one minute.

REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Thank you to the chairman.

President Trump's actions, encouraging/inciting a mob that stormed the United States Capitol for the sole purpose of stopping the constitutionally mandated counting of electoral votes, cannot go unanswered by this body. He must be impeached.

If Congress does not act, if we shrink from our constitutional responsibilities to defend our republic, it will undoubtedly undermine the vision of America as "the last best hope of earth," as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently said so many years ago.

So to the millions of Americans watching today, I hope you understand that we are proceeding on this path out of love for our country.

I will honor my oath today. I will vote for impeachment. And I pray that my colleagues will muster the courage to do the same.

And with that, I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from New York reserves.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, we reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio reserves.

The gentleman from New York?

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Clyburn.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from South Carolina is recognized for two minutes.

REP. JAMES E. CLYBURN (D-SC): Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time.

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 that have been tallied by the states and submitted to us.

This president refused to accept those results; instead, he sought to overturn them by inciting a violent insurrection. But we 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 very well be successful.

The survival of our democracy depends on defeated candidates accepting their defeats, as has been the case in every presidential election since 1864. Our 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 the 2000 election result in which he was defeated. Vice President Biden understood this, accepting and certifying this president's victory in the 2016 election. This president's refusal to participate in the peaceful transfer of power and his role in the inciting of the 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 ever attempting to seize power again.

With that, I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from New York reserves.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I yield two minutes to the gentleman from Colorado, Mr. Buck.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Colorado is recognized for two minutes.

REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): I thank the gentleman for yielding time.

Madam Speaker, I've heard that President Trump radicalized the group that -- the rioters who stormed this Capitol. And I would say that we need to look no further than ourselves to find out what happened and to look at history.

Americans were frustrated when they learned that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign. They were frustrated to learn that the Obama administration and the DNC had created this false campaign against the Trump administration.

[13:15:05]

They were frustrated, Madam Speaker, when the inauguration of the president was boycotted by over 40 Democrat members of this house.

They were frustrated to read in the New York -- in The Washington Post the day after the inauguration, let the impeachment begin.

They were frustrated when members of this House spoke over and over about impeaching the president days into his administration, and then the socialists in Hollywood joined their allies in Congress.

Robert De Niro said that he wanted to punch the president in the face. Madonna thought about blowing up the White House. Kathie Lee Gifford held up a likeness of the president's beheaded head. And nothing was said from my colleagues at that point in time. In fact, one Democrat colleague said that Trump supporters should be harassed wherever they are, in restaurants, on the street, in supermarkets.

During this time, the president was under investigation by a special counsel, who found no collusion and no conspiracy with Russia.

The president's supporters were harassed. Ajit Pai, the head of the FCC, was called a dirty, sneaky Indian. His children were harassed in school.

The Press Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was -- I'm sorry, the Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant for being a Trump employee.

The DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen harassed at her home. Trump donors--

SPEAKER: (OFF-MIKE)

BUCK: -- were publicly--

SPEAKER: The gentleman's time has expired. I'm sorry, you couldn't hear me in the mic. The mic wasn't on. The gentleman from Ohio reserves.

JORDAN: (OFF-MIKE) Reserves. Good job, Ken.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio reserves.

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Raskin.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Maryland is recognized for two minutes.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Smashing windows and beating police officers over the head with fire extinguishers, a bloodthirsty mob attacked the Capitol and invaded this Congress last Wednesday. They erected a gallows and repeatedly chanted, "Hang Mike Pence." They stormed Speaker Pelosi's office yelling, "Where's Nancy."

They brandished the Confederate battle flag and occupied the Senate Chamber. They wounded dozens of people, hospitalizing dozens of people, killed five of our people. For six hours, they shut down the counting of Electoral College votes -- our sacred process under the Constitution for a peaceful transfer of power in the United States.

They may have been hunting for Pence and Pelosi to stage their coup, but every one of us in this room right now could have died. As Senator Lindsey Graham said "The mob could have blown the building up. They could have killed us all."

And now, the far right is calling for a return engagement from January 17th to January 20th.

They're asking the president to pardon the conspirators in last week's rampage, as they prepare for a race war again next week. And it's a bit much to be hearing that these people would not be trying to destroy our government and kill us if we just weren't so mean to them.

Well, despite the floor leader's desperate effort to polarize this body and this nation along party lines, it is the chair of the Republican Conference who best articulated what happened in a statement yesterday. And I recommend every American read this. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the elected chair of the Republican Conference wrote, "The president summoned this mob, assembled this mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of this office," request 10 seconds.

SPEAKER: Gentleman from New York?

NADLER: I yield an additional 10 seconds.

SPEAKER: An additional 10 seconds to the gentleman from Maryland.

RASKIN: Cheney says, "There has never been a greater betrayal by the president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution." Read Ms. Cheney's statement.

Let's come together and impeach the president for this high crime against the republic. We don't have a minute to spare. He is a clear and present danger to the people.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York reserves.

NADLER: (OFF-MIKE) I reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, I yield two minutes to the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Gaetz.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Florida is recognized for two minutes.

[13:20:00]

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): It seems to me that impeachment is an itch that doesn't go away with just one scratch. It also seems that President Trump may be most likely to be impeached when he is correct.

Before the last presidential impeachment, President Trump rightly pointed out the improper activities of the Biden crime family, and subsequently, he's been proven right. And don't think for a moment, Madam Speaker, that we're going to drop that or stop our pursuit for the truth.

Before that, we had the Russia hoax, where you had the president rightly making claims that Hillary Clinton and the DNC were colluding with Russians to disorient our democracy. How right he turned out to be.

And then we have the 2020 presidential election, where the president correctly pointed out unconstitutional behavior, voting irregularities, concerns over tabulations, dead people voting, and now, impeachment again. "When they go low, we kick 'em." Eric Holder, former attorney general under Barack Obama. Breaching the Capitol was as low as low can be. We all denounce it. But who is it that they're kicking? The president, who created soaring highs for our economy, rising wages before the pandemic, 400 miles of wall to stop the caravans, who drew down troops in the Middle East and showed empathy for the forgotten men and women of our country? It's why so many people love him so much, and it's why they're kicking all of us.

This president has faced unprecedented hatred and resistance from Big Media, Big Tech and big egos from congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle.

Before the rioters tore through that glass, Speaker Pelosi stood at that rostrum and tore through the president's State of the Union speech, inciting anger, resentment, division. Some believe that truly, these true colors are being shown now through this divisive partisan impeachment. The speaker of the house--

SPEAKER: (OFF MIKE) (inaudible) expired.

GAETZ: I would request an additional 40 seconds.

UNKNOWN: Ex -- ex -- go through the speaker, please.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio?

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, I yield the gentleman an additional 40 seconds.

SPEAKER: The -- four seconds or 40 seconds?

JORDAN: Yup, 40 seconds.

UNKNOWN: (OFF MIKE) Forty-five seconds.

SPEAKER: Forty-five--

GAETZ: I thank -- I thank the gentleman--

SPEAKER: Forty-five seconds.

GAETZ: I thank the gentleman. The speaker said to us just moments ago, "Words matter." But apparently, those words don't matter when they're uttered by Democrats. When the gentlelady from Massachusetts calls for "unrest in the streets", when the gentlelady from California brazenly brags that she called for people to get in the faces of those who serve and support the president.

I denounce political violence from all ends of the spectrum, but make no mistake: The left in America has incited far more political violence than the right. For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered and they said nothing, or they cheer-led for it and they fundraised for it and they allowed it to happen in the greatest country in the world.

Now, some have cited--

SPEAKER: (OFF MIKE) The gentleman's time has expired.

GAETZ: Some have cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame. Well, they lit actual flames -- actual fires, and we--

(CHEERS)

SPEAKER: Time.

GAETZ: -- had to put them out, and we (inaudible)--

SPEAKER: Expired. There will be order in the house.

GAETZ: And I yield back.

(APPLAUSE)

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio, do you wish to reserve your time?

JORDAN: I do.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from California, Mr. Swalwell.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from California is recognized for one minute.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): America has been attacked before, but not like this. On January 6th, Donald Trump incited thousands of radicalized terrorists to attack the Capitol to stop a transition of power. Let that sink in. Our president incited our citizens to attack our Capitol.

America was not attacked in the past sense. This president has inspired future plots. America is still under attack, and that's why Donald Trump must be impeached.

I've read many of my GOP colleagues know what the president did was wrong, but are afraid for their lives if they cross the president. I'm sorry that you're living in fear, but now is a time to summage (sic) your courage to guide you.

We have all seen the images of the courageous officers who have risked their lives so that you could flee this floor and see your families. That was almost a week ago right now. Officers engaged in hand-to-hand combat for hours with these terrorists. Capitol Police were spit on, beaten, stampeded, and one of them lost their lives.

I'm not asking you to summon the courage they did. I'm just asking you to do your job and hold this president accountable.

SPEAKER: The gentleman's time has expired.

NADLER: (OFF MIKE) I reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York reserves. JORDAN: Yeah, Madam Speaker, we reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Yeah, we -- Madam Speaker, we reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman reserves. The gentleman from New York is recognized.

[13:25:00]

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from Texas, Mr. Castro.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Texas is recognized for one minute.

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Donald Trump is the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office. I want to take you back one week ago today, when people were barging through these doors, breaking the windows with weapons, armed, pipe bombs, coming here to harm all of you, to harm the speaker, to harm the Senate.

Let me ask you a question: What do you think they would have done if they had gotten in? What do you think they would have done to you, and who do you think sent them here? The most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office. If inciting a deadly insurrection is not enough to get a president impeached, then what is? All of us must answer that question today. The Constitution requires us to impeach and remove Donald John Trump.

SPEAKER: The gentleman's time has expired. The gentleman from New York reserves.

NADLER: I reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, we reserve.

SPEAKER: Gentleman from Ohio reserves his time. The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from Pennsylvania, Ms. Dean.

SPEAKER: The gentlelady from Pennsylvania is recognized for one minute.

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Madam Speaker, one week ago today, I was trapped in this house chamber as the banging on the doors began. I feared for colleagues, reporters and staff. I feared for myself. The attack on the Capitol will never be forgotten.

The president and many in this chamber have shamelessly peddled dangerous untruths about the election, despite the warnings of where those lies would lead, and last Wednesday, those lies and dangers found themselves inside this Capitol. This hateful rhetoric is another deadly virus. It is time to remove it from its host.

To heal, we need accountability and truth. That begins by acknowledging the president's dangerous lies and their deadly consequences. Removing Donald Trump is the beginning of restoring decency and democracy. What happened last week will not be forgotten, and what we do this week will long be remembered. Vote yes on impeachment, and I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentlelady yields back. The gentleman from New York reserves his time. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. It's my -- my -- my pleasure to yield one minute to the Republican leader, gentleman from California, Mr. McCarthy.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from California is recognized for one minute.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I thank the gentleman for yielding. Madam Speaker, let me be clear: Last week's violent attack on the Capitol was un-democratic, un-American and criminal. Violence is never a legitimate form of protest. Freedom of speech and assembly, under the Constitution, is rooted in nonviolence.

Yet, the violent mob that descended upon this body was neither peaceful nor democratic. It acted to disrupt Congress' constitutional responsibility. It was also attack on the people who work in this institution -- members, staff and the hundreds who work behind the scenes so that we can serve the American people.

The greatest statesman in the history of our country understood that the most dangerous threat to freedom is lawlessness. A young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln famously said, "There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law."

Yet, for several hours last week, mob law tried to interfere with constitutional law. Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say so.

Conservatives also know that the only thing that stops mob violence is to meet it with force rooted in justice and backed by moral courage. And last week, we saw mob violence met by courage, sacrifice and heroism from the brave men and women who protect this institution every day.