“Let’s start by making this very simple: no one in America can do what Donald Trump did and get away with it,” Lieu said to open his remarks. “No American elected official can call up a foreign government and ask for an investigation of a political opponent.”
Lieu further said that if a member of Congress were to seek aid from a foreign official in his or her re-election campaign, the result would likely be an indictment.
“No one is above the law and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land,” Lieu said.
The 50-year-old Congressman then referenced the first time he swore an oath to the Constitution, as he served in the United States Air Force on active duty, stating that his oath was sworn not to a political party, president or king but to a document that “has made America the greatest nation on Earth.”
In a speech marked with fiery, high rhetoric, Lieu also made some concessions. Despite his disagreement with Trump, the president has the right to restrict the number of refugees entering the U.S., the right to rescind environmental executive orders and the right to sign a bill that provides tax breaks to the wealthy.
However, after having qualified that the impeachment proceedings were not a result of policy disagreements, he argued that a sitting president does not have the right to “to cheat and to solicit foreign interference in our elections.”
“That is illegal. It is not what the voters elected him to do and we will not stand for it.”
Lieu’s contention that Trump’s alleged abuse of power and solicitation of an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden by the Ukrainians in exchange for tax-payer-funded military aid and a critical White House meeting endangered the national security of both Ukraine and the United States.
Rep. Lieu rounded out his remarks by telling his colleagues in the House of Representatives that their duty was to impeach Trump and make such a decision in a vacuum, without thought of the likelihood of conviction in the Republican-controlled upper house of Congress.
“Whether or not the Senate convicts, the House has an independent duty to do the right thing,” he said, stating that Trump’s impeachment is permanent and that it will “follow him around for the rest of his life and history books will record it.”