Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester announced Dec. 16 her intent to vote for the two articles of impeachment filed against President Donald Trump.
“Today, after careful consideration and review of these articles of impeachment, I have decided that I will vote to impeach the president of the United States when those articles are presented to the full House of Representatives,” said Blunt Rochester in a statement issued the same day. “This is a solemn moment and I recognize the full weight of this decision. I believe this is one of the most important votes I will take as a member of this chamber, and as such, I owe my constituents a full accounting of why I have reached this conclusion.”
“As to the first article of abuse of power — the evidence that has been put before the House of Representatives is that the president solicited the interference of a foreign government in the 2020 election,” said Blunt Rochester. “The president, acting personally and through his agents within and outside of the U.S. government, conditioned official acts of office on the promise of investigations into a domestic political rival. These official acts included a visit to the White House along with the release of hundreds of millions of dollars in congressionally approved military assistance.”
“The president, when taking his oath of office, is entrusted with powers granted to him by the American people,” said Blunt Rochester. “The power is given with the understanding and promise that it will be exercised in the national interest rather than any personal or political interest. When the president conditioned official acts utilizing the power of his office in exchange for an action that would benefit his personal political interest, rather than the national interest, he abused that power. The president’s intent and motives were made clear, not only from the testimony of witnesses during the inquiry, but from the president’s own words during his phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.”
“As to the article of obstruction of congress — the evidentiary record is clear,” said Blunt Rochester. “The president and his aides refused to produce records in the possession of the White House, in defiance of a lawful subpoena. The White House then directed Executive Branch agencies to also defy lawful subpoenas and withhold documents from the relevant committees. Finally, the White House directed current and former Executive Branch officials not to cooperate with the relevant committees, in defiance of lawful subpoenas for testimony. We also saw the president’s real-time attempt to intimidate current and prospective witnesses from testifying during the proceedings.”
“For the reasons outlined above, I will be voting for both of the articles of impeachment,” said Blunt Rochester. “The president’s actions have threatened our national security and pose an ongoing risk to our elections. This is a defining moment in our country’s history — one that provides a fundamental test of our system of checks and balances. If Congress does not act definitively at this moment, we risk creating a new normal — where foreign interference in our elections is casually accepted, if not welcomed; where future administrations simply ignore the oversight duties of Congress, and where future presidents act with impunity, with no regard for a co-equal branch of government, knowing that there are no consequences. It is clear to me that this president believes he can act with impunity — and so it falls on Congress to hold him to account.”
“We talk often about the ideals of American government — our system of checks and balances and co-equal branches,” said Blunt Rochester. “Nations around the world look to that system and strive toward those ideals. Our children learn about our battles for freedom and the creation of our great governing document, the Constitution. This is about so much more than one man, one presidency or one election cycle. It is about putting into practice the ideals that we so often esteem. It is about proving to those nations around the world, to our children and to ourselves that we are indeed the nation we proclaim to be. It is about making clear that no one is above the law — not even the president of the United States.”