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Pelosi: Trump is a 'clear and present danger'

The Hill logo The Hill 3 days ago Cristina Marcos
a woman wearing sunglasses: Pelosi: Trump is a 'clear and present danger' © Greg Nash Pelosi: Trump is a 'clear and present danger'

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called President Trump a "clear and present danger" to America as she made an impassioned appeal to lawmakers to support impeaching him for inciting the violent mob attack on the Capitol one week ago.

Pelosi kicked off House floor debate on the article of impeachment stating that Trump incited insurrection against the U.S. government with one of the most impassioned speeches of her career.

Pelosi said that impeachment would "ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who was so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together."

She also made a point of calling the mob that rampaged the Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from ratifying President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory "domestic terrorists."

"Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to and managed. They were domestic terrorists. And justice must prevail," Pelosi said.

The House will vote on impeaching Trump later on Wednesday. At least five Republicans are expected to vote to impeach the president, including Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the third-ranking House GOP lawmaker.

Pelosi pleaded with Democrats and Republicans to "search your souls" to answer questions about Trump's behavior.

"Is the president's war on democracy in keeping with the Constitution? Were his words and insurrectionary mob a high crime and misdemeanor? Do we not have a duty to our oath to do all we constitutionally can to protect our nation and our democracy from the appetites and ambitions of a man who has self-evidently demonstrated that he is a vital threat to liberty, to self-government, and to the rule of law?"

"Our country is divided. We all know that," Pelosi continued. "But I know this as well. That we here in this House have a sacred obligation to stand for truth. To stand up for the Constitution, to stand as guardians of the republic."

She quoted from a speech that the late President John F. Kennedy was set to deliver on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas, in which he had planned to say: "We in this country, in this generation, are - by destiny rather than choice - the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility."

Kennedy was assassinated before he could deliver those words in that planned speech.

"But they resonate more even now, in our time in this place. Let us be worthy of our power and responsibility," Pelosi said.

"My fellow members, my fellow Americans: We cannot escape history," Pelosi said.

Wednesday marks the second set of impeachment proceedings that Pelosi has presided over in the last 13 months.

The House passed two articles of impeachment in December 2019 accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into Biden, while the Senate voted last February mostly along party lines to acquit him. Trump will be the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

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