|Impeachment Day Excerpts...
"Republicans are crossing out the impeachment standard of 'high crimes and misdemeanors' and they are inserting the words, 'any crime or misdemeanor.' We are permitting a constitutional coup d'etat which will haunt this body and our country forever."
-- Edward J. Markey (D), Massachusetts
"Benjamin Franklin spoke of impeachment as an alternative to assassination. Today, this body is contemplating constitutional assassination."
-- Rosa DeLauro (D), Connecticut
"No man or woman, no matter how highly placed, no matter how effective a communicator, no matter how gifted a manipulator of opinion or winner of votes, can be above the law in a democracy. That is the rock-bottom, irreducible principle of our public life."
-- Henry Hyde (R), Illinois
"History records that [Andrew Johnson's] real crime was disagreeing with the majority party. I fear that history will view this 1998 impeachment inquiry similarly. A total-control majority urges impeachment, not for treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, but because they disdain this President for his moral flaws."
-- Louise M. Slaugher (D), New York
"Lying under oath is an ancient crime of great weight because it shields other offenses, because it blocks the light of truth in human affairs. It is a dagger in the heart of our legal system, and indeed in our democracy. It cannot, it should not, and it must not be tolerated.
--Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R), Florida
"The most basic rights of the people will be preserved only so long as public officials at every level of government tremble before the law."
-- Paul McHale (D), Pennsylvania
"If we make every member of this House rumored to have been involved in an affair subject to a $40 million special prosecutor and then hold him accountable for any misstatement of fact, we may be faced with a number of empty seats in this chamber."
-- Martin Frost (D), Texas
"We are now at the height of a cycle of the politics of negative attacks, character assassination, personal smears of good people, decent people, worthy people. It's no wonder to me and to you that the people of our country today are cynical and indifferent and apathetic about our government, and about our country. The politics of smear and slash-and-burn must end."
-- Richard Gephardt (D), Missouri
"When all the arguments are done and when the votes are taken, this is what we must work for: the humanity, the healing of this nation."
-- Amo Houghton (R), New York, has announced against his party's efforts to impeach.
"They are determined to impeach the Commander in Chief of America's armed forces, the President of the United States. Even as the bombs are falling on Baghdad, they are trying to force him from office. What kind of signal does this send our troops? Our allies? The American people? The world? I find it quite incredible that we are even here today having this debate."
-- David Bonior (D), Michigan
"I want to remind you that I am witnessing, in the most tragic event of my career in Congress, in effect, a Republican coup d'etat in process. We are using the most powerful institutional tool available to this body, impeachment, in a highly partisan manner. Impeachment was designed to rid this nation of traitors and tyrants, not attempts to cover up extramarital affairs. Our nation has been pushed to the edge of a constitutional cliff. We're about to inflict permanent damage on our Constitution, on our President, on the nation and on ourselves. We should not be here today, and history will not look kindly on the partisan passions that have brought us to this point."
-- John Conyers, Jr. (D), California
"We are now at a point where we risk, deeply risk, wounding the nation we all love."
-- Charles Schumer (D), New York
"Perjury, if it can be proven at all, on a private matter, perjury regarding sex, is not a great and dangerous offense against the nation. It is not an abuse of uniquely Presidential power. It does not threaten our form of government. It is not an impeachable offense."
-- Jerrodl Nadler (D) New York
"I strongly believe that for a President to be impeached, a President of the United States to be impeached, for an election to be undone, there must be a direct abuse of Presidential power. As Republicans we have failed to rise to our obligation. As a matter of conscience, I must vote against impeachment and I rue this day ."
-- Peter T. King (R), New York