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My Position on Impeachment

July 2019

It's time for the House Judiciary Committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry and collect the evidence necessary to build a strong case against President Trump. His presidency is a danger to our national security, our economy, and a threat to our democracy.

The Mueller report, though highly redacted, detailed multiple instances of obstruction of justice by President Trump. There is more to uncover, yet the Trump administration continues to stonewall subpoenas and requests for information. The strongest path for the U.S. Congress to conduct a meaningful investigation into President Trump’s actions is through an impeachment inquiry.

A successful impeachment process requires irrefutable evidence that Trump has committed impeachable offenses. We must build a strong case to hold the president accountable for his abuses of power.

However, the impeachment process is not the most certain or strongest tool to hold the president accountable. The ballot box is.

There is extreme and significant risk that, without taking the time to thoroughly investigate and build a case, a rush to impeachment could end up benefiting President Trump and ensure his reelection in 2020.

We cannot lose the presidency in 2020. A second Trump term threatens our national security, election integrity, the health of our environment, freedoms, and the foundations of our democracy. If Trump wins a second term our democracy may not survive.

A successful impeachment process requires substantive and thorough investigations.

It also requires that each chamber of Congress put country before political party. Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, will do everything in their power to delay impeachment past November 2020 or even more alarming, acquit President Trump of all charges. There is no doubt that Trump would use this to prove he was “exonerated” once again.

Much like its approach to the Watergate scandal, Congress must conduct deliberative investigations, hold hearings, enforce oversight of President Trump’s actions, and use the courts when the Trump administration stonewalls investigations. The Watergate hearings led to the discovery of unequivocal evidence to open impeachment proceedings against Nixon and forced his resignation.

While I believe that there are grounds for impeachment and support an inquiry, I strongly believe that the most effective way to accomplish the goal of removing Trump from office is through our electoral process.

The surest way to end the Trump administration is for the American people to unite behind a presidential candidate to take on Trump and restore our country’s values.

I recognize that many of you seek justice and a swift restoration of the checks and balances that have made our federal government strong. I share your desire for justice and accountability.

That’s why I am using the powers granted by the Constitution, as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to conduct oversight and investigate this administration. I have oversight of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which manages federal buildings, including the building that houses the infamous Trump Hotel.

My committee is also investigating the Trump administration’s sudden decision to abandon plans to move the Federal Bureau of Investigation from their decrepit building in downtown D.C. to a larger, newer suburban facility.

The FBI had been working with Congress on this bipartisan plan for nearly a decade but it was suspiciously derailed by the GSA, Trump White House, and Department of Justice. The Trump administration directed the GSA to undertake a more expensive plan to temporarily move the FBI, tear down their current building and rebuild in a footprint that can only house half of the agency. These nonsensical and abrupt changes raise serious ethical and legal questions.

The GSA’s own Inspector General found that the head of the GSA misled Congress about White House involvement in the decision-making process. The Inspector General also found that Trump’s plan to stop the move would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars more and accommodate 2,300 fewer employees.

It just so happens that the Trump Hotel is only a few blocks away from the FBI building; moving the FBI and redeveloping the property for the commercial market could produce new hotel competition and impact business for the Trump Organization.

I’m also investigating other significant conflicts of interests surrounding the Trump Hotel. There are a myriad of constitutional, legal, and ethical issues raised by President Trump serving as both landlord and tenant of a U.S. government building.

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution prevents elected officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments and leaders. The lease itself expressly states that elected officials cannot benefit. Yet, foreign governments, like Saudi Arabia and others, are regularly booking large blocks of rooms at prices far above market rates. The financial revenue flowing from foreign governments to President Trump is of serious concern and should trouble every American.

I’ve demanded GSA respond to my inquiries surrounding the Trump Hotel and I will not rest until I have all of the documents that I’ve requested. If needed, I will issue subpoenas.

I take my constitutional duty very seriously and I will pursue these investigations to completion. The American people will know the truth about the Trump administration’s self-dealing and unethical behavior. My committee will turn over any and all evidence of wrongdoing committed by the president to the House Committee on the Judiciary who would initiate an impeachment inquiry.

We’re living in a difficult and dark time in American history and I want you to know that I too fear for our country and for our children’s future. I am deeply disturbed by the Trump administration’s subversion of our democracy and the actions of this president. The decisions that elected leaders and voters make over the next 17 months could determine if our democracy survives. *We must set our sights on the ultimate goal and the long-term health of our democratic republic.

Stay strong, stay in the fight, and know that I’m fighting for you in Washington D.C.

Peter

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter