By Luis V. Gutiérrez
On July 18th, on the House floor, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) renewed his call for President Trump’s impeachment saying that the President’s decision to take Russian President Vladimir Putin’s side at the Helsinki summit was “nothing short of treasonous.” The following are his remarks:
Mr. Speaker: On Monday [July 16], the world witnessed the single worst performance by an American President on the world stage in world history. It was the culmination of the worst week an American President has ever had and as an American and a patriot, I am shocked and embarrassed for our nation.
Given evidence, indictments, and facts, the President was given the choice of taking América’s side or taking President Putin’s side and the President chose Putin.
I believe the American people, our armed forces, our allies, our lawmakers and the President’s own Cabinet deserve an immediate apology from the President for his actions.
If you still believe in truth, if you believe in Democracy, if you believe in the rule of law and our Constitution, you will join me in holding this President accountable for his actions, in holding Russia accountable for the attacks on the United States and her people, and will stand up to defend your country and not just your party or your own income and career.
Having insulted and demeaned our closest military allies and trading partners, the President doubled-down by insulting world leaders individually and in public, especially those who are most friendly to the United States. It was disgraceful.
The President even went as far as to say that Germany is totally controlled by Russia, a comment that makes the President quite literally the laughing stock of the world.
To then go on and take President Putin’s side in defending the Kremlin’s attack on the United States – an attack which this Congress, our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, our allies and the American people know in fact took place – was nothing short of treasonous.
The President has proven himself unable to separate his own personal interests from his current job as leader of the free world and has consistently, repeatedly, and now – in full view of the world – definitively put his own interests above those of the United States and the free world by siding with the petty, anti-Democratic dictator of our international rival.
The campaign of repression and the straight-up murder of political and business rivals by President Putin is established. It is not something any American leader can or should debate.
Using foreign agents to murder people overseas is the Kremlin’s MO, and our President seems to feel that is OK.
Let us not forget that Russia, on more than one occasion, has allowed paranoia, fear, and impunity to escalate to such a level that they have literally shot passenger airliners out of the sky killing all on board.
Invading other countries and using the pretext of national security to expand the Russian empire is not only condoned by this President apparently, in some ways he is seeking to emulate Putin’s behavior by using national security as a pretext for trade wars with our closest allies and for policies to take babies, toddlers and other children from people lawfully seeking asylum in the United States.
Russia is not a government to be condoned, it is a government to be contained and yet, our President was unable to be critical of the dictator of our greatest rival in public… and God knows what he did in private.
Mr. Speaker, it is well-established that I believe our current President is a threat to American Democracy, which is why I was one of the first Members of Congress to sign on to Articles of Impeachment last year.
I have already begun consulting with my colleagues about whether those Articles of Impeachment can be expanded and updated to include the betrayal witnessed by the American people and the world last week.
And while it is already a full-time job, I will redouble my efforts to prevent the House of Representatives from taking actions to actively obstruct justice and undermine law enforcement and the FBI, while seeking to give the President cover and relief from a genuine, thorough investigation into the attack on our country by the Russians in 2016 and the attacks that are continuing to this day.
This body, the House, the institution that I love so much and have served for more than 25 years cannot be sullied or diminished by this President and his inability to see the facts about the attack on the United States.
As a body, we must take action to relieve the President of his duties.
Most Americans probably doubt that the House of Representatives is even up to the task of being fair, being honest, and being impartial enough to call a spade a spade when it comes to Russian aggression.
But I call on my fellow Democrats and on my fellow Members from the other side of the aisle: If you still believe in truth, if you believe in Democracy, if you believe in the rule of law and our Constitution, you will join me in holding this President accountable for his actions, in holding Russia accountable for the attacks on the United States and her people, and will stand up to defend your country and not just your party or your own income and career.
This is a moment of destiny when the House as an institution must rise to the occasion and Mr. Speaker, the whole world is watching.
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is the Dean of the Illinois delegation and a thirteen-term Member of Congress from Chicago. He is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.