Hon. Lamar Smith (TX) Phone 202-225-4236 . Fax: 202-225-8628
GOP Reps. Smith, Sensenbrenner, Coble, Gallegly, Goodlatte, Chabot, and Cannon after much deliberation put the Constitution and rule of law before politics. Rep. Lamar Smith stated, “As much as one might wish to avoid this process, we must resist the temptation to close our eyes and pass by. The president's actions must be evaluated for one simple reason: the truth counts.”
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We should not underestimate the gravity of the case against the president. When he put his hand on the Bible and recited his oath of office, he swore to faithfully uphold the laws of the United States - not some laws, all laws.
As to the uniqueness of the office the president holds, he is a person in a position of immense authority and influence. He influences the lives of millions of Americans. When he took the oath of office, he swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
When someone is elected president, they receive the greatest gift possible from the American people, their trust. To violate that trust is to raise questions about fitness for office. My constituents often remind me that if anyone else in a position of authority - for example, a business executive, a military officer or a professional educator - had acted as the evidence indicates the president did, their career would be over. The rules under which President Nixon would have been tried for impeachment had he not resigned contain this statement: "The office of the president is such that it calls for a higher level of conduct than the average citizen in the United States."
This will not be an easy task. In fact, it is a difficult ordeal for all Americans, but we will get through it. We are a great nation and a strong people. Our country will endure because our Constitution works and has worked for over 200 years. As much as one might wish to avoid this process, we must resist the temptation to close our eyes and pass by. The president's actions must be evaluated for one simple reason: the truth counts.
As the process goes forward, some good lessons can be reaffirmed. No one is above the law, actions have consequences, always tell the truth. We the people should insist on these high ideals. That the president has fallen short of the standard doesn't mean we should lower it. If we keep excusing away the president's actions we as a nation will never climb upwards because there will be no firm rungs.
Hon. James Sensenbrenner (WI) Phone (202) 225-5101 . Fax (202) 255-3190
…being a poor example isn't grounds for impeachment; undermining the rule of law is.
When Americans come to Washington, they see the words "equal justice under law" carved in the facade of the Supreme Court building. Those words mean that the weak and the poor have an equal right to justice, as do the rich and the powerful.
The framers of the Constitution devised an elaborate system of checks and balances to ensure our liberty by making sure that no person, institution or branch of government became so powerful that a tyranny could be established in the United States of America. Impeachment is one of the checks the framers gave the Congress to prevent the executive or judicial branches from becoming corrupt or tyrannical.
I do so with no joy but without apologies, just as those on this committee who voted to impeach President Nixon, 24 years ago, did. Watergate and the Nixon impeachment reversed the results of an overwhelming election and were extremely divisive to our country, but America emerged from that national nightmare a much stronger country and will do so again after this sad part of our history is over. What is on trial here is the truth and the rule of law.Hon. Howard Coble (NC) Phone (202) 225-3065 . Fax: (202) 225-8611
Much has been made about the absence of bipartisanship on this issue, and I want to reiterate my position on that. Do not point accusatory fingers at Republicans or Democrats because there is disagreement. Assuming we vote our consciences and exercise sound judgment, little else can be asked.
...I take umbrage to charges that some are out to get the president...I take umbrage as well to those who claim that some approach this arduous task in a gleeful manner. I take no joy in discharging this duty before us, but it remains our duty nonetheless.
...I can't see that this is going to shut down the government or tie it up, assuming it does advance to the Senate.Hon. Elton Gallegly (CA) Phone (202) 225-5811 . Fax (202) 225-1100
This has been a very trying time. In a democracy, there are few more serious acts than to consider the possible impeachment of a president. I can tell you in true conscience it has caused me many sleepless nights.