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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton Explains Views on House Impeachment Inquiry Vote

Nov 1, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released her congressional record statement on the House impeachment vote taken yesterday.  Until statehood is achieved, Norton cannot vote on impeachment nor on final passage of bills, despite representing over 700,000 American citizens who pay the highest federal taxes per capita in the nation.

In her statement, Norton stressed the importance and the need for fairness in the impeachment inquiry: “Was there an attempt made to hold security funding hostage to the president’s concern about a political rival?  If this question is deemed not to be worthy of the inquiry – investigation – we authorize today, it would be difficult to ever again define any conduct that deserves an impeachment inquiry.”

The full statement is below.

Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Remarks Regarding House Impeachment Resolution

November 1, 2019

To its credit, the House is demonstrating the seriousness of steps that could lead to the impeachment of a president.  In my judgment, shameful breaches of conduct (and Trump has committed many), such as President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, were not impeachable because official duties were not implicated.  For impeachment, the Constitution requires “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  An affair with an intern is disgraceful, not criminal.

The people are ahead of the Congress on impeaching this President, or at least on the inquiry we formalize, if consistent indications from polls can be counted as evidence.  The House is taking the right step in ratifying the inquiry process that will lead to the necessary open hearings.

As a member of the Oversight and Reform Committee, I have been sitting in on closed hearings from witnesses whose testimony is part of the prescribed process.  The prosecutor, the House, is conducting an inquiry, which is like a grand jury proceeding or a U.S. Attorney investigation to determine if there has been a violation of law.  These procedures are always closed to protect the innocent parties in case the decision is made that there is not enough evidence to move forward.  So far, witnesses have come forward to corroborate evidence indicating that Trump used his office as president to seek “a favor,” an investigation of his most prominent opponent in the forthcoming election, by a foreign power who had life or death dependence on the appropriated U.S. funds.

Was there an attempt made to hold security funding hostage to the president’s concern about a political rival?  If this question is deemed not to be worthy of the inquiry – investigation – we authorize today, it would be difficult to ever again define any conduct that deserves an impeachment inquiry.

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