Statement from Free Speech For People on House Impeachment Vote

Free Speech For People first called for an impeachment investigation on January 20, 2017, the day that President Trump took office, based on his refusal to separate himself from his businesses in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clauses. Since then, we and our allies have led a movement demanding that Congress fulfill its constitutional duty to protect our democracy, root out corruption, enforce the rule of law, guard our national security, defend the communities Trump is threatening, and start delivering the promise of our democracy, by holding Trump accountable for impeachable offenses including:

  • Abuse of power to target political adversaries, critics, and the press;
  • Corruption of electoral processes;
  • Abuse of office to promote discrimination, hostility and unlawful violence,
  • Corruption and self-enrichment; 
  • Obstruction of the administration of justice and Congressional inquiries; and 
  • Misuse of armed forces and abuse of emergency powers.  

We commend the House of Representatives for passing two articles of impeachment. The fight to hold President Trump accountable for his other misconduct is not over, but today’s historic vote is a victory for our constitutional system of government. Donald John Trump is only the third president in our history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, but his high crimes and misdemeanors are far worse than those of any other impeached president.

The next step is a Senate trial. Benjamin Franklin argued at the Constitutional Convention that the impeachment process should provide the president’s “honorable acquittal when he should be unjustly accused.” But the Framers of the Constitution were aware of the distinct risk of dishonorable acquittal by a Senate biased to defend the president. As one Framer observed, “there was more danger of too much lenity than too much rigor towards the President, considering the number of cases in which the Senate was associated with the President.” The Senate rules demand that each Senator in an impeachment trial swear or affirm to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.” And history is watching. 

We now call on the Senate to hold a full and fair trial so that the American people can see why President Trump must be convicted, removed, and disqualified from future office.

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