McCarthy says impeachment 'has discredited the United States House of Representatives'

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOvernight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 Republicans offer details on environmental proposals after Democrats roll out plan GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts MORE (R-Calif.) blasted impeachment as a partisan attack on the president that “has discredited the United States House of Representatives” as the House wrapped up debate ahead of the historic vote. 

The California Republican, who is one of 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’s top confidants and defenders in the lower chamber, took a swing at members across the aisle, saying they have prioritized impeachment over policy. 

Republicans applauded multiple times throughout his closing argument.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Tonight I rise not as the leader of the opposition of this impeachment or even an elected representative from California’s Central Valley,” he said. “I rise as Kevin McCarthy, citizen. No better or worse than the 435 representatives sitting in this chamber or the 330 million Americans watching this institution make what I believe will be one of the worst decisions we have ever made.” 

McCarthy accused Democrats of failing to "protect the proper grounds and process for impeachment" and took aim at the media, alleging it worked to "normalize" impeachment. He also accused Democratic leadership of bowing to its "socialist base," eliciting boos from the Democratic side of the chamber.

“After three years of breathless and baseless outrage, this is their last attempt to stop the Trump presidency. Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] even recently admitted that Democrats had been working on this impeachment for 2 ½ years,” he continued. 

“Those were her words, not mine. Because they lost to him in 2016, they’ll do anything to stop him in 2020. That’s not America. That’s not how democratic republics behave. Elections matter. Voters matter. And in 11 months, the people’s voice will be heard again,” he said.

McCarthy went on to allege that Pelosi opted to impeach without “one shred of evidence,” accusing her of waiting to hold a vote formally authorizing and laying out the procedures for the probe despite a letter requesting she follow the process taken during past impeachments. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“In the past, such a step demanded a vote — from all of us — from the start,” he said. “But not only did she move to impeach before she gave this House — and the hundreds of millions of people we represent — a say in whether to pursue an impeachment inquiry. She threw out the bipartisan standards and institutional precedents this House gave Presidents Nixon and Clinton.”

McCarthy went on to take aim at top Democrats, claiming they planned to move forward with impeachment before the probe into the president’s dealings with Ukraine was launched. 

“What we’ve seen is a rigged process that has led to the most partisan and least credible impeachment in American history. That is your legacy,” he said. 

“Any prosecutor in the country would be disbarred for such blatant bias, especially if he was a fact witness, judge and jury. ... I’ve heard a lot of debate on the floor today. But I haven’t heard one member dispute this simple fact: President Trump provided lethal aid to Ukraine.” 

McCarthy argued that Trump will remain president but accused Democrats of wasting months of “time and taxpayer dollars.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

“It didn’t have to be this way. Is this why we came here to serve? To trample on due process rights? To issue more subpoenas than laws? To appease the new Democrat-socialist base?” he said. 

"That isn’t leadership. It’s raw partisan politics. And you know it,” he said. “Moreover, politicizing this process has discredited the United States House of Representatives and could forever weaken the remedy of impeachment.”

McCarthy closed out by highlighting the economy and calling on Democrats to vote against impeachment and work with Trump, sparking cheers form Republican members in the chamber.

“But if you want to restore a working Congress — like the previous Congress that listened to you and worked to bring the best economy this country has ever seen and will once again work with the president to get things done for you and your family — then join Republicans in rejecting this baseless impeachment,” he said.  

“That’s what’s wonderful about this system of ours: We are a government of, by and for the people. Always remember, we work for you, not the other way around. I say this stronger and with more conviction than I have ever said it before. In this time of great trial and tribulation, may God bless America.”