Who Said It?

20 years is a long time. Apparently it’s long enough for a number of key House Democrats to forget what they said the last time impeachment came up in Congress. Take a look at their impassioned floor speeches in 1998 – where they forcefully repudiated the idea of a partisan impeachment and called it dangerous for our democracy – and contrast it with their action earlier this week to embrace impeachment without evidence or facts:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

REP. PELOSI: We are bringing dishonor to it with our hypocrisy here in this chamber. Today, the Republican majority is not judging our President with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance… We are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton; and until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer…”

Rep. Steny Hoyer

REP. HOYER: “Our democracy will be threatened if we destroy the due process and high standard that the founding fathers established over two centuries ago. The process that the majority has pursued in this matter has been partisan; driven, I believe, by animus and exceedingly unfair. Like so many other acts of these last two Congresses, it has been unworthy of our duty and of our responsibility.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler

REP. NADLER: There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other. Such an impeachment will produce the divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions…This is clearly a partisan railroad job…You may have the votes, you may have the muscle, but you do not have the legitimacy of a national consensus or of a constitutional imperative. This partisan coup-d’etat will go down in infamy in the history of this nation.”

Rep. Maxine Waters

REP. WATERS:“This is indeed a Republican coup-d’etat…The Republicans are the vehicles being used by the right-wing, Christian coalition extremists to direct and control our culture…I am greatly disappointed in the raw, unmasked, unbridled hatred and meanness that drives this impeachment coup-d’etat. The unapologetic disregard for the voice of the people.” 

Rep. Jim McGovern

REP. McGOVERN: “Unfortunately, those traditions and that Constitution are under siege today. They are victims of an ill-timed, unfair, and partisan process that does a great disservice not only to the President of the United States, but to the people of this country… The American people want Congress to act on the real issues that face our country…Instead, the majority in Congress will continue their partisan drumbeat of scandal, scandal, scandal.” 

Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee

REP. JACKSON LEE: “Today with such a vote, these chambers will become the incinerator of the Constitution. There is no fairness in this process, there is no justice, and there is no dignity…Today our vote leads into the darkness of a vile attack on the Constitution. We leave here today void and empty because our president will have been toppled against the will of the people of the United States…Judge not and ye shall not be judged, condemn not and ye shall not be condemned, forgive and ye shall be forgiven.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro

REP. DeLAURO: “I oppose this action with every fiber of my body because it is an affront to our Constitution and our democracy…Impeachment. It is wrong and it is unfair. It denies the American people their right to representative democracy…Benjamin Franklin spoke of impeachment as an alternative to assassination. Today this body is contemplating a Constitutional assassination. Driven by a naked partisanship almost without lawful and civil bounds…This debate…more than anything else symbolizes the madness that has inflamed the partisan fires on the other side of the aisle.”