The 10 best lines from the full House impeachment debate

Image: 10 best lines from the full House impeachment debate
Copyright House Television via AP
By Adam Edelman with NBC News Politics
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Dozens of House members uttered tens of thousands of words during Wednesday's — still ongoing — historic impeachment debate. Here are some of the buzziest.


There was solemnity. There was anger. There was hyperbole.

Wednesday'shistoric full House debate on the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump has had it all — and it's not even halfway over yet.

Here are the 10 standout lines from Wednesday's debate so far:

"He gave us no choice"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

"But, very sadly, now, our Founders' vision of our Republic is under threat from actions from the White House. That is why, today, as Speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the President of the United States. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the President's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice."

Jesus afforded "more rights" than Trump

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.

"When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this president in this process."

Like Pearl Harbor, a "date that will live in infamy"

Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa.

"On Dec. 7, 1941, a horrific act happened in the United States, and it's one that President Roosevelt said, this is a date that will live in infamy. Today, Dec. 18, 2019, is another date that will live in infamy."

"The president is the smoking gun"

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.

"He solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now, and he will do it again. The president is the smoking gun."

Proceedings not "about the truth"

Rep. Doug Collins, ranking member of House Judiciary Cmte

"Today's going to be a lot of things. What it is not, is fair. What it is not, is about the truth."

"Doing nothing is not an option"

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

"Doing nothing here is not an option. Looking away from these crimes against our country is not an option. This is about protecting the future of our nation and our democracy from corruption, abuse of power, criminal coverups, and bribery."

"This country's end is now in sight"

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas

"In 1998, Sen. Schumer said, and I quote, 'This impeachment will be used as a routine tool to fight political battles.' We thought it was a prediction. It was a promise, and now it's playing out. It's exactly what's being done here … This is a travesty, and we're in big trouble, because Schumer was right. Now it's lowered the bar. It will be used for political battles, and this country's end is now in sight. I hope I don't live to see it. This is an outrage."

Impeachment "not only patriotic, it is uniquely American"

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

"What we are doing here today is not only patriotic, it is uniquely American. America is a story of ordinary people confronting abuses of power with a steadfast pursuit of justice. Throughout our history, the oppressed have been relegated to the margins by the powerful, and each time, we have fought back, deliberate in our approach, clear-eyed."

Democrats have "weaponized" the Constitution

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.

"There has never been a single-party, fraudulent impeachment process like the one being used today. Our Democratic colleagues have weaponized the impeachment provision of the Constitution to nullify the votes of 63 million Americans who elected President Donald J. Trump."

"There can be no serious debate about the evidence at hand"

Judiciary Cmte. Chairman Jerry Nadler

"Taken together, the two articles charge that President Trump placed his private, political interests above our national security, above our elections, and above our system of checks and balances. After months of investigation, there can be no serious debate about the evidence at hand."

Share this articleComments