Thu, January 16, 2020
On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Rep. Val Demings (FL-10), a member of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, was appointed by Speaker Pelosi as an Impeachment Manager to present the case for impeachment to the U.S. Senate.
Said Rep. Demings, “I am honored to have the opportunity to help defend our republic in this incredible moment in history. I hope that every American who believes in democracy will take a stand.
“The president has been given an incredible responsibility and opportunity to serve the American people. Instead, he has abandoned his oath of office and the Constitution, choosing to put his interest before the national interest. The evidence against the president is overwhelming. The president abused his office to try to cheat in the 2020 election, and then covered it up. He shall be held accountable.
“I understand that the politics of impeachment are difficult for many Senators. But I have not written off the Senate. Each Senator still has the power to do the right thing. I know that as each Senator considers whether to side with justice or corruption, the voices of the American people will matter.”
Rep. Demings’ House Judiciary Committee Remarks:
"This is a defining moment in our history and a challenging time for the nation.
But America has been through tough times before. And I am sure that we will go through tough times again.
So, I do not fear this moment, or this time.
I grew up in Florida. I am the youngest of seven children. My mother cleaned houses for a living and my father was a janitor. But he also mowed lawns and picked oranges.
I remember my dad used to go to work seven days a week to make ends meet for our family.
I grew up poor, but my parents were good, decent, honest people who taught me to be decent and respectful.
They taught me to work hard, and play by the rules, and treat others the way that I want to be treated.
You see, I was the first in my family to go to college, and after graduation I joined the Orlando Police Department, and started out as a patrol officer working the midnight shift.
But the story does not end there.
I had the awesome opportunity of working my way up through the ranks to become Orlando’s first woman chief of police, and now I am privileged to serve in Congress.
But hear me clearly:
I believe that only in America can a little Black girl, the daughter of a maid and a janitor, growing up in the south in the ‘60s, have such an amazing opportunity.
So, regardless of the spirited, sometimes painful political debates, no one can make me give up on America.
You see, I believe in the promise of America—because I have seen the promise of America.
I come before you tonight as an American Dream—realized.
Because America is great and decent, and our democracy complete, because we live in a government of the people.
I’ve taken four oaths in my lifetime, two as a law enforcement officer and two now as a Member of Congress.
Different oaths, different times and different places, but each oath stated that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
My oath was not to an individual, it wasn’t to a political party or institution. My oath was to the United States Constitution.
And I come before you tonight as an African American female.
I come before you tonight as a descendent of slaves. Slaves who knew they would not make it, but dreamed and prayed that one day, that I would make it.
I come before you tonight proclaiming that in spite of America’s complicated history, my faith is in the Constitution. And I say that today with perfect peace.
I’ve enforced the laws and now I write the laws, and I know that nobody is above the law. But the law means nothing if the accused, whether the man who breaks into your house or the president, can destroy evidence, stop witnesses from testifying and blatantly refuse to cooperate in the investigation.
I ask you to name somebody in your family or in your community who can do that.
The president is the commander-in-chief, and his responsibility is great.
However, our president put his personal interests above the interests of the nation—corrupting and cheating our democracy—and he shall be held accountable.
The framers were so concerned about a president abusing his power that they gave us the power of impeachment.
George Washington was particularly concerned about ‘unprincipled men’ finding their way into the White House.
Well, those times have found us. And we only have one option, and that’s to hold this president accountable.
Because you know what? Nobody is above the law.