Representative Madeleine Dean

Representing the 4th District of Pennsylvania

Rep. Dean Offers Remarks at Impeachment Markup

December 12, 2019
Press Release

At yesterday's Judiciary Committee markup of impeachment articles against President Trump, Rep. Dean offered the following statement: 

 

"As members of Congress, we are entrusted with a generational duty – a duty to ensure that we leave our grandchildren with a Constitution as strong — or even stronger — than our predecessors gave us. 

I want to tell you about a conversation that took place the week of July 25th. But not the one you’re thinking of.

This was a quiet moment between a leader and me – just a Freshman – on the floor of the House. I sought out Elijah Cummings, and sat down next to him. He looked up into the Gallery and said, “Madeleine, 300 years from now, your ancestors will remember you were here.”

 “We are here only a short while; make sure what you do here matters!”

*      *      *

As First Corinthians tells us, “For now we see through a glass, darkly.”

Months later, I am beginning to see “face to face” — what our recently departed Chairman Cummings meant: What we do here today will matter for generations.

He saw a broader horizon.

*      *      *

Now this immense Constitutional responsibility vested in us by our founding fathers requires us to decide whether President Donald J. Trump has purposefully and perilously abused the power entrusted to him By the People.

The evidence shows the President’s wrongdoings are as clear as they are dangerous.

  • He has abused his power as President for personal gain — including his corrupt scheme to win re-election,
  • He has betrayed our nation and his oath by asking foreign governments to interfere in our elections,
  • When he was caught, he obstructed Congress, blocking our Constitutional investigation at every turn — telling executive branch agencies and witnesses to defy subpoenas,
  • And even in the midst of this investigation, he called on a third foreign power to interfere in the coming election.

The President’s ongoing pattern of conduct threatens our most precious rights as Americans. The right to choose our own leaders and hold them accountable. 

In George Washington’s farewell address he warned against "the insidious wiles of foreign influence ... the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."

We cannot allow this President to reach his hands – and the hands of foreign leaders – into our ballot boxes. Because for us to maintain our faith in this country – the democratic process is as important as the result. 

*      *      *

Some have suggested that our actions – this historic call for impeachment – are based in dislike, or even hatred, of a single man.

They are not.

Today is not about punishment or hate. It is about love. Love of country. It’s about protecting this country – and our precious Constitution – for all the Americans yet to come. 

No one wishes to be where we are today — but this is where we are called to be.

Today is about the Congressional oath I swore — we all swore — to “well and faithfully discharge the duties of this office.” 

*      *      *

My favorite uncle Walter was a Catholic priest. Years after his death, I swore my oath of office on Walter’s Bible. My first grandchild, Aubrey, age 7, held it from below, as I placed my hand and bore “true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution.

Walter’s daily prayer washed over me: “May God grant success to the work of our hands.”

 

I remember the gravity of that moment — of accepting the mantle from those who came before us — and striving to protect the promise of the Constitution for the generations who have yet to inherit it.

 

It is in our hands now.

 

Many people have walked these hallowed halls. Few of us remember their names. Some day, we too will be gone and forgotten. Yet what we do here will not. It will matter for decades and centuries to come. It will matter to my children and grandchildren — and to yours.

 

It will matter to a democracy battle-tested and hard-won – and yet only as strong as those willing to stand up and defend it. To defend the aspirations and constitutional promise of our country.

These are the moments that define us – that determine whether the United States of America will become less free, or more perfect.

 

That grand horizon is in our hands now. May God grant us success. Our forefathers demand it — and our granddaughters deserve it.

 

It is for these reasons that I support these articles of impeachment.

 

And with that I yield, Mr. Chairman."

*      *      *