An intense moment unfolded on the floor of the House of Representatives between Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on Wednesday as lawmakers debated Democrats’ partisan impeachment efforts.
“In 1998, Senator Schumer said, ‘This impeachment will be used as a routine tool to fight political battles.’ We thought it was a prediction,” Gohmert began. “It was a promise and now it’s playing out, that’s exactly what’s being done here and for those who say we don’t address the facts, here you go: The impeachment serves two purposes.”
“Number one, stop the investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and Ukraine into the corruption of Ukraine interference into U.S. elections in 2016,” Gohmert continued. “You said this was about this terrible Russia collusion and then that fell through [and now] it’s about emoluments, it’s bribery, it’s about extortion, it’s changed. But one thing hasn’t changed and that is: The intent to impeach this president, it’s always been there.”
“But let’s be honest, the president turning his back on Ukraine, that happened in 2009 because in 2008 Ukraine invaded Georgia, what happened? Bush put sanctions on Russia to teach him a lesson,” Gohmert continued. “What happened after that? Well, in March of 2009 Hillary Clinton was sent over to Russia with a reset button to say, ‘Bush overreacted, we’re okay that you invaded Georgia.’ It was a greenlight to Russia to invade Ukraine and what [did Obama] do? [Obama] sends blankets and MREs and you eat and be warm while the Russians are killing them. That is what the Obama administration did.”
“This is a travesty and we’re in big trouble because Schumer was right, now the bar is lowered even further, it will be used for political battles and this country’s end is now in sight,” Gohmert concluded. “I hope I don’t live to see it. This is an outrage.”
Nadler responded by saying, “I am deeply concerned that any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor of the House …”
Nadler did not cite any evidence to back up his claim that Gohmert was spreading “Russian propaganda.”
Gohmert, who had left the podium, stormed back after Nadler made his comments and began shouting at him for several seconds.
Louie Gohmert's floor speech. pic.twitter.com/3V9BvBJNT1
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 18, 2019
Democrats went on to impeach Trump in the first purely partisan political impeachment in U.S. history as only Democrats voted for it and all Republicans voted against it along with multiple Democrats.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a harsh critic of Trump who votes for Democrats, warned Democrats during his opening statement in one of the impeachment hearings that they did not have the evidence needed to impeach Trump.
“One can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president,” Turley said. “To put it simply, I hold no brief for President Trump. My personal and political views of President Trump, however, are irrelevant to my impeachment testimony, as they should be to your impeachment vote. Today, my only concern is the integrity and coherence of the constitutional standard and process of impeachment. President Trump will not be our last president and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come. I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president. That does not bode well for future presidents who are working in a country often sharply and, at times, bitterly divided.”