Waters quotes Maya Angelou in passionate argument for impeachment on House floor

Waters quotes Maya Angelou in passionate argument for impeachment on House floor
© Anna Moneymaker

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersGearing up for a chaotic year on K Street Maxine Waters: Republicans 'shielding' Trump 'going to be responsible for dragging us to war' Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday evening quoted Maya Angelou during the House’s debate on whether to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE

Shortly after taking the floor for the debate, Waters, who was one of the first members of Congress to call for Trump’s impeachment, said: “Ladies and gentleman, unfortunately, the rules of debate won't allow me to cite all of the reasons why this president should be impeached.” 

“There are many,” Waters, who had been allotted just a few minutes to address the floor at the time, continued. She then went on to say: “To quote the late Maya Angelou, when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

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“This day was not inevitable but it was predictable because this president has shown himself time and time again to believe that he is above the law,” Waters continued. “He has no respect for our Constitution or our democracy.

“Based on all that we know about Donald Trump,” Waters said, “we could have predicted he would have abused the power of the president by corruptly soliciting the government of Ukraine and the Ukrainian President Zelensky to publicly announce investigations into his political opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

"Any other individual who would have been caught conducting themselves in the way this president has would have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law," she added.

Waters called the case House Democrats brought against Trump “irrefutable” and said it consisted of an "indisputable set of facts."

Her remarks drew some applause moments after she concluded.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle came to the floor on Wednesday to argue whether Trump deserves to be impeached. Later on Wednesday, the House is expected to vote on the articles of impeachment, which charge Trump with obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

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The vote follows months of investigation by House lawmakers over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. House Democrats have argued that Trump withheld military aid to the country in exchange for the announcement of investigations that would benefit him politically.

Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations and has argued, along with Republicans, that the impeachment investigation is partisan in nature.

The vote in the Democrat-led House is expected to result in Trump’s impeachment Wednesday evening, which would make him the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. If impeached, his removal from his office would be contingent upon the outcome of an impeachment trial in the GOP-controlled Senate.