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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Second Trump Impeachment Underway. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired January 13, 2021 - 13:30   ET

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


[13:30:00]

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): 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.

But for the bravery of the capitol police, the destruction and loss could've been much greater. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

The loss of Officer Brian Sicknick, and Officer Howard Liebengood was tragic and heartbreaking. We mourn their loss. Remember their lives and continue to pray for their families and loved ones.

The officers of the capitol police deserve our eternal thanks. We will never forget the dangers they faced, the determination they showed, or the sacrifices they made.

And make no mistake, those who are responsible for Wednesday's chaos will be brought to justice.

Which brings me to today's debate. I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake. No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held.

What's more, the Senate has confirmed that no trial will begin until after President-Elect Biden is sworn in.

But here is what a vote to impeach would do. A vote to impeach would further divide this nation. A vote to impeach will further fan the flames of partisan division.

Most Americans want neither inaction nor retribution. They want durable bipartisan justice. That path is still available but is not the path we are on today.

That doesn't mean the president is free from fault. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.

These facts require immediate action of President Trump. Accept his share of responsibility, quell the unrest, and ensure President-Elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.

And the president's immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a fact-finding commission and essential resolution would be prudent. Unfortunately, that is not where we are today.

Truly this past week was one of the most difficult for Congress in our nation. Of all the days here, last Wednesday was the worst day I've ever seen in Congress. Our country is deeply hurt. So where do we go from here?

After all the violence and chaos of the last week, is it important to remember that we are still here to deliver a better future for all Americans.

It does not matter if you are liberal, moderate, or conservative. All of us must resist the temptation of further polarization.

Instead, we must unite once again as Americans. I understand for some this call for unity may ring hollow. But times like these are when we must remember who we are as Americans and what we as a nation stand for.

And as history shows, unity is not an option. It's a necessity. It is as necessary today as it was at the start of our country.

I want us all to think back to how John Adams and the federalist party handed power over to Thomas Jefferson and his party after the election of 1800.

That election, and, indeed, that error, was one of the most divisive ever. Partisans used every dirty trick in the book. They demonized each other, dismissed reasonable descent, and described their opponents as seditious. Sound familiar?

The election of 1800 could've destroyed our young nation. But instead of breaking us, it helped us bring us together. Thereby preserving the world's last best hope of freedom.

After a hard-fought battle over the Electoral College in Congress, Adams conceded. And a peaceful transfer of power, the first in American history took place.

Jefferson, for his part, put aside the division of the era and preached forgiveness. Yes, unity. In his first inaugural address, he famously said, every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.

[13:35:05]

Jefferson and Adams did not end every difference of opinion that existed in America. Nor did they try. In a free country as big and diverse as ours, that would be impossible.

What they did was more important. They recognized the deeper unity, a unity rooted in the famous proposition both men helped to write. At a critical moment in history, our founders chose peace, liberty,

partnership over tension, division, and partisanship. For the sake of our country, we must make the exact same choice.

We have already begun. Last week, despite the lingering shock and amid the windows still broken, we did what all healthy democracies do. We debated and we voted.

In this country, we solve our disputes at the ballot box and through debates and votes on the floor of this exact chamber. We did our duty then and we must do more.

The eyes of the nation and the world are upon us. We must seize this opportunity and heal and grow stronger.

As leaders, our place in history depends on whether we call on our better angels and refocus our efforts to work directly for the American people.

United we can deliver peace, strength, and prosperity our country desperately needs. Divided we will fail.

What we saw last week was not the American way. Neither is the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president. Let's be clear. Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the United States in one week because he won the election.

And the presidency and this Congress will face immediate challenges that must be addressed. I stand ready to assist in that effort with good faith, good will, and an open hand.

The United States remains exceptional. We remain extraordinary.

In the coming weeks and months, we must work together, all of us, to recharge the light of our shining city on the Hill.

History has shown us a way. History has given us a path. Just as Adams and Jefferson has shown, now is the moment that we should do the exact same.

In these trying times, may God continue to bless America. And let's chart a course that history will repeat but not what's happening today.

I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back.

The gentleman from Ohio continues to reserve?

(APPLAUSE)

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to distinguished gentlelady from Colorado, Ms. . SPEAKER: The gentlewoman from Colorado is recognized for one minute.

REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D-CO): Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, just over a year ago, I stood right there where you're standing today as we took the solemn step of impeaching the president of the United States for pressuring a foreign leader to take unlawful actions to help in his reelection.

And one week ago, almost to the hour, I laid right there on the floor of the gallery above us. I heard gunshots in the speaker's lobby. I heard the mob pounding on the door.

What they were trying to do, they were all an angry mob, incited by the president, trying to stop certification of a legitimate election. It's clear the president learned nothing in the last year.

Yesterday, the president said again he did nothing wrong. This man is dangerous. He has defied the Constitution. He's incited sedition. And he must be removed.

We all took a pledge on January 3rd to uphold the Constitution. We must honor that oath. We must vote yes on this article of impeachment.

I yield back.

SPEAKER: Expired. The gentlewoman yields back.

The gentleman from New York reserves.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I yield one minute to the gentlelady from Colorado.

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

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): Glory to God.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to oppose this impeachment and denounce the recent violence on the capitol. And the violence we've all witnessed all summer long across our great country.

Make no mistake here, the hypocrisy of the left is on full display. Quote, "Go to the Hill, get in the face of some Congress people, we've got to fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, take them behind the gym and beat the hell out of them, go and take Trump out tonight." Sound familiar?

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What about the gentlewoman from New York who defended the looting by saying looters just wanted loaves of bread? The last I checked, Best Buys and Teslas and the stores of the like do not produce baked goods.

Where's the accountability for the left after encouraging and normalizing violence rather than actually helping American people. And this time we start impeachments that further divide our country.

I call bull crap. When I hear the Democrats demanding unity, sadly, they are only unified in hate.

SPEAKER: Your time has expired.

BOEBERT: Thank you. I yield.

NADLER: I now yield one minute to distinguished gentlelady from California, Ms. Waters.

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

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-NY): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

I rise in support of impeaching again the worst president in the history of the United States.

Since its first day in office, this president has spent four years abusing his power, lying, embracing authoritarianism, radicalizing his supporters against a democracy.

This corruption poisoned the minds of his supporters inciting them to willingly join with white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and paramilitary extremists in a siege of the United States capitol building, the very seat of American democracy.

The Republican Party is now the Trump party.

And I want you to know that this is a Trump power grab that will not stop. It will not stop with attacking the capitol and our state legislatures. This president intends to exercise power long after he is out of office.

It is reported that the president of the United States watched the invasion from the Oval Office of our capitol and seemingly enjoyed it.

I want you to know we must be concerned that the Republicans will not defend him, and he is capable of starting a civil war. He must be impeached. He must be stopped now.

SPEAKER: Gentleman from New York reserves.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I yield one minute to the gentleman from Washington, Mr. Newhouse.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Washington is recognized for a minute.

REP. DAN NEWHOUSE (R-WA): Thank you, Mr. Jordan.

Madam Speaker, this is a sad day in our republic. But not as sad or disheartening as the violence we witnessed in the capitol last Wednesday. We are all responsible. My colleagues are responsible for not

condemning rioters this past year, like those who barricaded the doors of the Seattle Police Department and attempted to murder the officers inside.

Others, including myself, are responsible for not speaking out sooner, before the president misinformed and inflamed a violent mob who tore down the American flag and brutally beat capitol police officers.

Madam Speaker, we must all do better.

These articles of impeachment are flawed. I will not use process as an excuse. There's no excuse for President Trump's actions.

The president took an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Last week, there was a domestic threat at the door of the capitol, and he did nothing to stop it.

That is why with a heavy heart and clear resolve I will vote yes on these articles of impeachment.

(APPLAUSE)

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve?

The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve?

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, can I ask how much time each side has?

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio has 36 and one-quarter minute remaining. And the gentleman from New York has 36 and three-quarter minutes remaining.

JORDAN: We reserve.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Auchincloss.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Massachusetts is recognized for 30 seconds.

REP. JAKE AUCHINCLOSS (D-MA): 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. I yield back.

SPEAKER: He yields back.

The gentleman from New York wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

[13:45:03]

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, I yield two minutes to the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Chabot.

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

REP. STEVE CHABOT (R-OH): Madam Speaker, America is at a crossroads. As the violent riots at the capitol last week so painful reminded, the unhinged partisan rhetoric that too often consumes the political dialogue in this country has become toxic and is tearing us apart.

If we continue down this path, there's no telling how much damage to our union there may be.

Sadly, that's what's happening here today. The majority is rushing through yet a second impeachment of President Trump who has but seven days remaining in office.

As prominent constitutional law professor, Jonathan Turley, has cautioned, today, a dangerous precedent is being set that could lead to the normalization of snap impeachments without any hearings or any meaningful discussion or debate.

The majority is ramming through this House the most potent tool at our disposal, without a single hearing, turning a process that usually takes months into a few short hours.

We haven't heard a testimony from a single witness. We haven't heard from any experts on the nature of these charges, nor the damage this effort could inflict on our republic.

We didn't even know how this debate would unfold until 9:00 this morning.

This is truly an unprecedented situation and one which could cause you see irrevocable harm to our nation.

But, Madam Speaker, it doesn't have to be this way. We don't have to continue down this misguided path.

We could instead follow the wisdom provided by none other than Abraham Lincoln during another divisive time in our nation's history and listen to the better angels of our nature.

We could choose a more positive constructive path and vote down this ill-conceived effort. We should tone down the political rhetoric. We should work together to

solve the problems that face our nation. We should put aside our differences and find common ground.

And we should bring Americans back together. Because there's no crisis we can't overcome if we stand united.

And I yield back.

SPEAKER: Gentleman from Ohio yields back.

The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield one minute to distinguished gentlelady from Washington, Ms. Herrera Beutler.

SPEAKER: The gentlewoman from Washington is recognized for one minute.

REP. JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER (D-WA): My fellow Americans, I rise today to stand against our enemy and declare our enemy isn't the president or the president-elect.

Fear is our enemy. Fear tells us what we want to hear. It incites anger and violence and fire. But it also haunts us into silence and inaction.

What are you afraid of? I'm afraid of what people will say or think. I'm afraid of being devalued. I'm not afraid of losing my job, but I am afraid that my country will fail. I'm afraid patriots of this country have died in vain. I'm afraid injustice will prevail.

But truth, truth sets us free from fear. Truth doesn't guarantee bad things won't happen but it does promise to always prevail in the end. It has no shadows where darkness can hide. We could use love right now.

My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision. I am not choosing a side. I'm choosing truth. It's the only way to defeat fear.

(APPLAUSE)

SPEAKER: The gentlewoman yields back.

The gentleman from New York wishes to reserve his time.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I yield one minute to the gentlelady from Texas, Ms. Van Duyne.

SPEAKER: The gentlewoman from Texas is yielded one minute.

REP. BETH VAN DUYNE (R-TX): Thanks very much. Today, I should be in my district working for my constituents. Instead, I'm back here in Washington because the majority could not resist another made-for-TV impeachment.

American workers are losing their jobs and struggling to feed their families. Small businesses are being forced to lay off workers and close their doors. Families are tragically losing loved ones to the coronavirus.

Instead of creating or even saving American jobs or negotiating additional COVID relief, we're debating an impeachment that's been perceived by no inquiry, no meaningful debate and no due process.

In one week's time, Joe Biden will be the president. The American people need us to rise above the heat of the moment to focus on their needs and deliver real solutions.

Because the majority decided we should debate whether or not to remove a sitting president in just two hours, I'll be brief. I oppose this article of impeachment.

And I yield back.

SPEAKER: The lady yields back.

The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield 30 seconds to the distinguished gentlelady from Georgia, Ms. Bourdeaux.

SPEAKER: The gentlewoman from Georgia is recognized for 30 seconds.

REP. CAROLYN BOURDEAUX (D-GA): Madam Speaker, I teach a civics class where I point out that our democracy is not self-executing. It requires people of good faith and ethics to make it work.

The president has repeatedly challenged Georgia's election results. But despite three re-counts and many investigations, the results are clear, Joe Biden won Georgia.

[13:50:09]

The idea that our election was fraudulent is a lie. Our president used this lie to incite a violent mob to attack the capitol.

I ask my colleagues to act with ethics and good faith to reject these lies and, in this case, to support the article of impeachment.

I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentlewoman's time has expired.

The gentleman from New York wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from Ohio.

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, I yield one minute to the gentleman from Florida, Mr.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Florida has one minute.

REP. BILL POSEY (R-FL): In our campaigns, we may be adversaries. But, usually, after the campaign season's over, we traditionally have come together to good of our nation.

Now, more than ever in our lifetimes, we are a divided nation.

One of the reasons, the resist movement, which has harassed, harangued, and otherwise denigrated the president since the second he became the nominee.

While his sins may be different than yours or mine, they are clearly not treasonous.

There are men and women in blue who suffered a lot more stress than the members of Congress they protected. Have the time they deserve to recuperate and do the same for millions of Americans who feel they've been disenfranchised.

I besiege my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, if you truly want our nation to heal, vote no on this resolution. It wreaks of nothing more than revenge and sets a dangerous precedent.

May God continue to bless the United States of America.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back.

The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield 30 seconds to distinguished gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Brown.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Maryland is recognized for 30 seconds.

REP. ANTHONY BROWN (D-MD): Thank you, Madam Speaker.

A week ago, Americans in this chamber lived through one of our darkest days. The commander-in-chief incited a mob and insurrectionists to overturn the results of a free and fair election through terror and intimidation. They failed but this violence took its toll.. People died. Our country's democracy was vandalized and our image as the world's leading democracy was shaken.

President Trump represent a real threat to our national security, our democratic institutions and the people of this country.

We cannot let Donald Trump, who actively orchestrated sedition, lead our nation's government another seven days. We cannot wait until January 20th. Donald Trump must be removed.

Thank you, and I yield back.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back.

The gentleman from New York continues to reserve.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

I yield one minute to gentleman from Texas.

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

REP. LANCE GOODEN (R-TX): Thank you, Madam Speaker.

And I also want to thank my Democratic colleagues for finally joining Republicans in condemning mob violence after six months of refusing to acknowledge it.

But I'm really tired of sanctimonious sermons on being a sore loser from some of the same Democrats who opposed accepting results in elections past.

Democrats have objected to certifying every Republican victory of the 21st century. In 2000, 2004 and 2016 Democrats objected every time.

When they objected, it was patriot. But when Republicans do it, we're inciting a mob. We're liars and we're traitors.

This is the double standard we should expect under total Democrat control. They've called for unrest in the streets. They've called for harassing cabinet officials. They've objected to certifying elections time and time again.

Even the Judiciary chairman secured clemency for a domestic terrorist who detonated a bomb right here in this building.

But we're the extremists? I don't think so.

We've been silenced by big tech on social media, by corporate America. And now the other side wants to silence us on the House floor.

This is a sad day in America. I urge my -- I urge my colleagues to vote no.

SPEAKER: The gentleman's time expired.

The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve.

(CROSSTALK)

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York is recognized. NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield 30 seconds to a new member of the

House and a new member of the Judiciary Committee, the distinguished gentle lady from Missouri, Ms. Bush.

SPEAKER: The gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds.

REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): Madam Speaker, St. Louis and I rise in support of the article of impeachment against Donald J. Trump.

If we fail to remove a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection, it's communities like Missouri's First District that suffer the most.

The 117th Congress must understand that we have a mandate to legislate in defense of black lives. The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy, starting with impeaching the white supremacist in chief.

Thank you, and I yield back.

(CROSSTALK)

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from Ohio -- seeks recognition?

JORDAN: Madam Speaker, Madam Speaker, I yield one minute to the gentleman from Texas, Dr. Jackson.

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

[13:55:02]

REP. RONNY JACKSON (R-TX): Thank you.

Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to articles of impeachment.

Let me be clear. What happened last Wednesday was a stain on our nation. And the criminals and the rioters responsible should be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.

It is clear more than ever that our country needs to come together. And Congress, this Congress needs to lead by example and begin the process of healing the deep division that exists among us, as Americans.

The articles before us today will not accomplish that. In fact, the sham articles of impeachment will only serve to further fan the flames of unrest and to appease the radical left's appetite for division.

We should be focusing on restoring communities devastated by lockdowns, working on America's vaccine rollout, aiding a bipartisan investigation into these attacks, and ensuring election integrity, not impeaching a president, who has promised a peaceful transition, and he has less than seven days left in office.

It's time to focus on the unprecedented challenges we face. And it's time to focus on unity.

For these reasons, I urge my colleagues to oppose these articles of impeachment. And I yield back my time.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back his time.

The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield 30 seconds to the distinguished lady from New York, Ms. Clarke.

SPEAKER: The lady from New York is recognized for 30 seconds.

REP. YVETTE CLARKE (D-NY): Madam Speaker, today, I rise to support the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors for a second time.

Let us be very clear. What took place on January 6, 2021 was an act of domestic terrorism by right-wing sycophantic white supremacists, promoted, instigated and advanced by the man in the White House Donald Trump.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once said the ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it sets to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

(CROSSTALK)

SPEAKER: The time has expired.

The gentleman from New York wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

I yield two minutes to the gentleman from Wisconsin, Mr. Tiffany.

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

REP. THOMAS TIFFANY (R-WI): Thank you, Madam Speaker.

My father once said to me, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. In the short time I've served in this body, one thing is clear: This is not a serious place.

Last year, we watched as the other side delayed COVID relief for months to inflict maximum pain and sway the outcome of the election. The speaker said as much.

In yet these last two days, we've seen how fast they were move when they want to exact political retribution on their opponents.

My friends on the other side now have complete control of both Houses of Congress, and in a few days, will control the entire executive branch as well.

Madam Speaker, Joe Biden has talked about unity and healing. Is that what this is today?

Is accusing Republican lawmakers of sedition and calling for their expulsion the plan for healing?

Is working with Silicon Valley to digitally disappear those with whom they disagree with the plan for reconciliation?

I was among the first to condemn the riots in Madison months ago. And I condemned what happened last week. But where were the swift accusations of incitement and insurrection from the other side last year?

Is today's political theater a preview of what the American people can expect from single-party rule? Two years of double standards and punishing those who void it for someone else?

Madam Speaker, I hope Mr. Biden is watching today and he will rise to the moment and call off this effort to rub salt in the wounds of millions of Americans.

It is now time for all of us, Democrats and Republicans alike, to turn down the temperature.

Thank you.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back.

The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve?

JORDAN: Yes.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield 30 seconds to distinguished gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Cleaver.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Missouri is recognized for 30 seconds.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): Madam Speaker, it would be an error to suppose that men and women can be courageous every day. It would be unfair to anticipate that I or any member of this member could be a lion every day.

No one is expected to be a lion day after day after day. But on "this" day, lions are required.

SPEAKER: The gentleman yields back his time.

The gentleman from New York reserves.

The gentleman from Ohio is recognized.

JORDAN: We reserve. SPEAKER: The gentleman from Ohio wishes to reserve.

The gentleman from New York is recognized.

NADLER: Madam Speaker, I now yield 30 seconds to distinguished gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Cohen.

SPEAKER: The gentleman from Tennessee is recognized for 30 seconds.

REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): Thank you very much.

After President Trump was not impeached, Susan Collins said, he -- Susan Collins said, he's learned a pretty big lesson. He was impeached.

[14:00:06]