For Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), this week marked her third round of impeachment hearings. In the early 1970s, she worked as a staffer for Congressmen Don Edwards during Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. And in the late 1990s when Bill Clinton took the stand, she was serving her second term in the House of Representatives.
During her testimony on Wednesday, however, Lofgren called the accusations against Trump worse than those leveled against Nixon.
“President Trump not only abused his power to help his re-election, he used a foreign government to do it,” Lofgren said. “He used military aid provided to fight the Russians as leverage solely to benefit his own political campaign.”
I’ve worked on two prior presidential impeachments. This third time brings me no joy. It is a solemn, but necessary occasion.
The President abused his power to upend the Constitutional order. It is our responsibility to use the tool our Founders gave us to preserve it. pic.twitter.com/zsAyQzxL6c
— Rep. Zoe Lofgren (@RepZoeLofgren) December 18, 2019
The Silicon Valley representative voted yes for both articles of impeachment: obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
As did Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont), who read out a portion of Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address, which discusses political institutions.
“What makes America the strongest and most prosperous nation in the world is our reverence for the rule of law,” he recited. “It is our love of the law that protects our freedoms, our private property, our families, from the exercise of arbitrary power.”
Today, we vote to impeach, affirming our reverence for the rule of law as a check on arbitrary power as well as Lincoln’s call in the Lyceum address for a political religion. pic.twitter.com/buBy6UTRZ0
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) December 18, 2019
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo also invoked the words of a famous historical figure: Alexander Hamilton. The Democrat from Palo Alto said one of the founding fathers’ biggest fears was that powerful members of the government would become “mercenary instruments of foreign corruption."
“President Trump abused the powers of the presidency by ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests to obtain an improper personal benefit,” she said. “He also betrayed our nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.”
I believe the Constitution is the soul of our nation, and by defending it, we are saying we will not be soulless. pic.twitter.com/lY9bJPaLK9
— Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (@RepAnnaEshoo) December 19, 2019
The articles of impeachment will now head to the Senate, which will carry out a trial. Anything less than a two-thirds majority vote in the GOP-controlled Senate, however, means Trump will remain in office.