Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Norton Says Clinton Impeachment Offers Good Context for Today’s Trump Impeachment

Dec 18, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released her brief floor remarks during the 1998 Clinton impeachment proceedings to give residents context for today’s impeachment against President Trump.  Twenty-one years ago on the House floor, Norton said of the Clinton impeachment, “the framers raised the bar as high as possible, allowing impeachment not even for crimes, but only for high crimes. The Republicans have lowered the bar as low as they can to reach tawdry private consensual sex.”

“The facts of Trump’s impeachment have no parallel in American history in seriousness of the acts and strength of the evidence presented,” Norton said.  “Unlike President Clinton, President Trump has denied all wrongdoing and continues to abuse his office, creating a clear and present danger to our country and to our constitutional checks and balances.”

Norton’s full 1998 remarks are below.

  Ms. NORTON.  Mr. Speaker, this impeachment is unfair on three counts. It is unfair

to the President whose admitted misconduct in covering-up of a private

sexual affair cannot compare to the Nixon precedent where high stake

crimes were not in doubt. It is unfair to the country because the

preference of the voters for censure of the President is being barred

even from consideration. It is unfair to the people who live in this

city, who have a 23rd amendment constitutional right to vote for

President but have been denied a vote on removal of the President.

 

  We are converting a solemn constitutional process into a petty

political proceeding. The framers raised the bar as high as possible

allowing impeachment not even for crimes, but only for high crimes. The

Republicans have lowered the bar as low as they can to reach tawdry

private consensual sex.

 

  The framers sought to make partisan impeachment a contradiction in

terms; the majority is making it a reality. The people acting

officially on November 3rd repudiated impeachment. Yet, the Majority

has denied a vote on the public preference for censure. Defying its own

announced standard that no impeachment could occur without

bipartisanship, the Majority is heading for an incredible partisan,

party line vote to impeach the President.

 

  This impeachment is unfair to the people of the District of Columbia.

The Majority has relegated them to the functional equivalent of partial

citizens--good enough to vote for president, but not good enough to

decide whether to remove him.

 

  This impeachment is raw with unfairness. Only a repudiation of all

articles can save us now.

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