STILL I RISE; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 24
(House of Representatives - February 05, 2020)

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[Pages H844-H845]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                              STILL I RISE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2019, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Green) for 30 minutes.
  Mr. GREEN of Texas. Madam Speaker, and still I rise, with the love of 
my country at heart, and I rise today on this day when the Senate has 
concluded its trial of the President.
  I rise to say that this House can be very proud of the job that it 
has done because, notwithstanding all that has been said, this House 
had the courage to do what the Constitution required pursuant to 
Article II, Section 4, in terms of the standard for finding a President 
guilty.
  The House did what it was supposed to do. The House impeached this 
President, charged this President with two Articles of Impeachment. One 
was the obstruction of Congress. I like to think of it as an 
obstruction of a congressional investigation. The other was abuse of 
power.
  The Senate did not find the President guilty of either of the 
Articles of Impeachment, but the House still did its job because the 
House has the duty, the responsibility, and the obligation to move 
forward, notwithstanding what may be the case in the Senate. The House 
doesn't act based on what the Senate is perceived to do or not do. The 
House must act based upon the evidence that is before it.
  And the House did act. And the House did impeach. And as a result, 
regardless as to the finding of the Senate, the President is impeached 
forever. And it will be forever written in history that this President 
was impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.
  Why is this so important? It is important because notwithstanding the 
finding in the Senate, the President knows now that the House has the 
courage to do its job. The House will put the guardrails up. The 
President knows that he cannot escape the House because this is where 
the bar of justice lies in terms of presenting Articles of Impeachment 
such that they can go to the Senate.
  The President has to know now that the House is the sword of 
Damocles. For those who may not know, Damocles was a courtier. He was a 
person who would flatter the king, let the king believe and tell the 
king that he was great and that all of his subjects loved him. The 
king, on one occasion, decided to allow Damocles to occupy the throne. 
But in so doing, he wanted Damocles to understand that occupying the 
throne carries with it more than the accolades and all of the kind 
words that were being said.

  So he had a sword hung above Damocles by a single hair from a horse's 
tail. As Damocles sat there, he understood that, at any moment, the 
sword might fall upon him and do him great harm. To some extent, he was 
proud and pleased to occupy the throne, but the reality was he realized 
that it was not the easy occupation that he thought it to be. So he 
begged the king to release him and allow him to remove himself from 
under the sword that was hanging over him.
  The House is the sword of Damocles. We hang there above the President 
so that he will know that if he commits impeachable acts that the House 
will act.
  Now, I understand that there will be those who will say that the 
Senate acted and found the President not guilty. Yes, ``not guilty,'' 
not ``innocent.'' The Senate did not proclaim the President innocent. 
They simply said he is not guilty--a lot of difference between not 
guilty and innocent.
  To be innocent means you have been found to have done absolutely 
nothing wrong, you are totally without blame, and you are a person who 
can claim that you have done absolutely nothing wrong without any blame 
at all. Well, ``not guilty'' simply means that the evidence presented, 
as they reviewed it, they did not conclude that the President could be 
found guilty. So he was found not guilty, but he was not proclaimed 
innocent by the Senate.
  And the Senate cannot proclaim that a President who has been found 
not guilty cannot be impeached again. The Senate deals with the 
question of a trial, and there is some question as to whether or not 
this was an appropriate trial pursuant to the Constitution. But the 
Senate deals with the trial. It is the House that deals with 
impeachment.
  As such, the House found that the President should have been 
impeached, did impeach, but also, the law under the Constitution allows 
the House to impeach again if the President is found to have engaged in 
impeachable offenses. The House is not allowed simply one opportunity 
to impeach a reckless, ruthless, lawless President. The House can 
impeach each and every time the President commits an impeachable act. 
And if the President has committed an impeachable act, the House can 
impeach.
  There will be those who will say that we are now calling for 
impeachment again. This is not true. I will make it perspicuously 
clear: Not the case. Not calling for impeachment at this time, but 
indicating that the rules, pursuant to the Constitution, allow for 
impeachment at any time the President commits acts that are 
impeachable.
  Madam Speaker, I must say if the President does commit another 
impeachable act, I believe that this House will uphold its 
responsibility, its duty, and its obligation, as it has done.
  I am proud to be associated with the House and what it has done 
because I am proud to say we have upheld the Constitution. This is what 
we were required to do, to uphold the Constitution of the United States 
of America and not allow a President to simply do as he would without 
any restrictions on him. I understand that the President has decided 
that, as the executive, he can dictate the rules for a trial, the rules 
for impeachment, but the House did not allow him to do so, such that it 
would retreat from its responsibility.
  The House has said: Mr. President, there are guardrails, and these 
guardrails we will not allow you to simply ignore. The guardrails are 
such that you will have to conform to the Constitution.
  I believe that what the Senate has done has not benefited the 
country, but I also know that what the House has done was send a 
message that the President is not beyond reproach, that the House of 
Representatives still stands here as a sentinel on duty to assure this 
country that if the President steps out of line and does something that 
is impeachable, the House will indeed act upon what the President may 
have done.
  I believe in the separation of powers. I believe that the executive 
branch has certain powers. I believe that the judicial branch has 
certain powers and that the legislative branch has certain powers. But 
I know that only the House has the power to impeach.
  And I know that the President cannot withhold witnesses, cannot 
withhold evidence from the House such that it cannot move forward with 
the proper investigation. I know that he cannot do this with impunity. 
He can't do it with immunity of some sort. He is not immune, and the 
House has demonstrated this, that he is not immune. Notwithstanding his 
behavior, the House can still move forward with its duty and 
responsibility as it did and impeach.
  It is also now clear that the House does not have to find out a crime 
has been committed, in the sense of a statutory, codified offense. 
There does not

[[Page H845]]

have to be a crime that has been defined in law such that it is penally 
punished. Not so. The Constitution doesn't require it.
  In fact, Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for offenses that were 
not crimes, in the sense that they were something defined by statute, 
something that has already been codified. It wasn't required then; it 
isn't required now.
  Andrew Johnson was impeached on Article X of the articles against him 
for acts rooted in his bigotry and his hatred. He was impeached, and 
the root of it was he did not want the freed slaves to enjoy the same 
rights as other people in this country. He fought the Freedmen's 
Bureau. He did everything that he could to prevent them from having the 
same rights as others in this country. The radical Republicans 
impeached Andrew Johnson in 1868 for having utterances and statements 
that were harmful. He demeaned the House of Representatives. But it was 
all rooted in his hate and racism, and as a result, no crime, but he 
was impeached.

                              {time}  1930

  We now know that this can be done.
  And this President has done some things that are dreadful, some 
things that I would not want to see a President do and that, in my 
opinion, are in violation of the Constitution.
  You don't have to commit a statutory offense to be found guilty of a 
high crime and misdemeanor. We know this now.
  When we first started this journey, we had to fight this battle to 
convince people, and people have finally been convinced. There are some 
outliers who will contend that you have to commit a crime in the sense 
that it is defined and codified as a statute, but this is not the case. 
All of the leading scholars agree with the comments that I am sharing 
with you tonight.
  So we know now that, if the President inculcates bigotry into his 
policies, he can be impeached. For bigotry in policies emanating from 
the Presidency, he can be impeached.
  We don't have to have bigoted policies emanating from the President. 
We don't have to have this. There is no requirement in this country 
that we must suffer a President who presents bigotry into public 
discourse. There is no requirement.
  We have an obligation in this country to defend all people. All of 
the people in this country should have equal protection under the law. 
We can't allow anyone in this country to present circumstances or cause 
circumstances to come into existence that may cause harm to people.
  When you say ugly things about people and you tell police officers 
that you don't have to be nice when you are arresting a person, you are 
inviting harm to be caused to a certain person who may be arrested.
  Anybody who is arrested should still be treated as a human being with 
certain dignity and respect simply because that certain person is in 
the care, custody, and control of the authorities. The authorities have 
a duty to respect the people that they arrest.
  Well, you don't invite persons to behave otherwise, which is 
something this President has done.
  So I want the persons within the sound of my voice to know that I am 
proud of what the House has done. The President now knows that he can 
be impeached, that we are the sword of Damocles. The House has a duty 
and responsibility to do what it did, and it can do it again if the 
President commits additional impeachable acts.
  The President has said he could go out on Fifth Avenue and shoot 
someone and do it with immunity.
  He didn't use those exact words.
  Well, if he does, using his phraseology of going out and doing this 
dastardly deed, he will be impeached. We will not allow a President to 
do such a thing.
  And I, quite frankly, think it is inappropriate for him to joke about 
such a thing. I say it only because I want people to know that I take 
seriously the possibility of the President doing something else, not 
going out on Fifth Avenue, but doing something else.
  The President has demonstrated that he is a recidivist, and he will 
engage in recidivism; and when he does engage in recidivism, we have a 
responsibility to the Constitution to impeach him for his misdeeds.
  Finally, this: I love this country. It means something to me to be a 
citizen of this country. I respect the opportunity that I have to be a 
part of this Congress.
  I don't want it said that, on my watch, when we had a reckless, 
ruthless President, I failed to live up to my responsibilities. I want 
it said that, though I may have had to stand alone at some point, it is 
better to stand alone than not stand at all.
  I want it said that I recognize the fact that, if you tolerate 
bigotry, you perpetuate it. And I want it said that I did not tolerate 
it, and that I did all that I could to bring a President who engaged in 
bigotry and racism and Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, nativism, 
all of the invidious phobias, anti-Semitism, that I did all that I 
could to bring him to the bar of justice in the House of 
Representatives.
  But I also would want the record to show that I said tonight that I 
will do all that I can, if he engages again, to bring him before the 
bar of justice, and that certain offenses that he has committed have 
not been brought to the bar of justice and that it is never too late, 
as long as he is in office, to bring the President before the bar of 
justice.
  This is where it all starts, right here in the House of 
Representatives.
  I am so proud of my colleagues who voted to impeach this President. 
The House can be proud of what it has done.
  The President knows that here there is courage and there is the 
courage to bring him to justice. He will forever be an impeached 
President.
  He may have been found not guilty, but the impeachment is not 
eradicated, it is not obliterated, it is not eliminated by virtue of 
the fact that the Senate chose not to find the President guilty.

  I happen to absolutely, totally, and completely disagree with the 
Senate and its findings. I think the Senate made the wrong decision, 
but it made a decision, and that decision will stand.
  But I also know that that decision can be appealed. The decision of 
the Senate can be appealed, and it will be appealed to a higher court, 
the court that will convene in November. I believe that that court will 
have a different finding in November of this year.
  I love my country.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.

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