Ruppersberger: Articles of Impeachment Warranted to Protect Constitution
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger issued the following statement after House of Representatives leaders formally unveiled two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abusing his power and obstructing Congress. The articles are available here.
“As a former prosecutor, I have taken seriously my responsibility to follow the letter of the law throughout the impeachment inquiry and reach my own conclusions based on facts and facts alone. This isn’t about policy differences with the President or even personality conflicts – it’s about the Constitution.
During the Intelligence Committee hearings, all 17 witnesses – mostly Trump appointees – told the same story. The President conditioned official acts on political favors. President Trump said himself that, after his phone call with President Zelensky, he hoped, “they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens.”
President Trump sent appropriated aid to Ukraine in previous years. The Departments of Defense and State had already certified the funds would be responsibly employed. And all of his advisors were assuring him that Ukraine should have its aid. The only part of the equation that changed was that Ukraine had a new leader that badly wanted a White House meeting and President Trump exploited that for his personal gain, withholding both the meeting and the aid. President Trump released the aid only after he learned about the whistleblower’s complaint against him.
If these acts -- withholding duly-appropriated military aid, asking a foreign power to investigate a political rival and obstructing Congress’ inquiry – are not impeachable, nothing is impeachable.
In fact, before the Judiciary Committee, three of four Constitutional scholars said the President’s conduct constitutes impeachable high crimes. Another 500 legal scholars wrote an open letter in agreement.
'If a President cheats in his effort at re-election,” they wrote, “trusting the democratic process to serve as a check through the election is no remedy at all. That is what impeachment is for.'
Today, President Trump has no one to blame but himself. He violated his oath of office. This is why I support both articles of impeachment. The facts clearly warrant this action to protect the Constitution of the United States.”