IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Trump impeachment: The 15 best lines from the House debate

Dozens of House members uttered tens of thousands of words during Wednesday's historic impeachment debate. Here are some of the buzziest.
Image: 10 best lines from the full House impeachment debate
House Television via AP

There was solemnity. There was anger. There was hyperbole.

Wednesday's historic full House debate on the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump had it all.

Here are the 15 standout lines from Wednesday's debate:

"He gave us no choice"

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"But, very sadly, now, our Founders' vision of our Republic is under threat from actions from the White House. That is why, today, as Speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice."

Jesus afforded "more rights" than Trump

Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.

"When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this president in this process."

History will find that "my colleagues ... lacked courage"

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

"When the history of this time is written, it will record that when my colleagues found that they lacked the courage to stand up to this unethical president, they consoled themselves by attacking those who did."

Like Pearl Harbor, a "date that will live in infamy"

Mike Kelly, R-Pa.

"On Dec. 7, 1941, a horrific act happened in the United States, and it's one that President Roosevelt said this is a date that will live in infamy. Today, December 18, 2019, is another date that will live in infamy."

When you do what Trump did, "you're going to get impeached"

Susan Davis, D-Calif.

"Make no mistake, we are not impeaching this president. He is impeaching himself. If you are the president and you obstruct justice, try to bribe a foreign leader and threaten national security, you're going to get impeached. End of story."

"A moral obligation"

John Lewis, D-Ga

"When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something. Our children and their children will ask us: 'What did you do? What did you say?' For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history."

"Heavy burden of shame and guilt"

Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

"Those who vote 'yes' on today's articles of impeachment must carry the heavy burden of shame and guilt for as long as they serve in Congress — which won't be long, because the American people will remember in November. Democrats would rather trip the president just to see him stumbling than see America succeed."

"The president is the smoking gun"

Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.

"He solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now, and he will do it again. The president is the smoking gun."

"This country's end is now in sight"

Louie Gohmert, R-Texas

"In 1998, Senator [Chuck] Schumer said, and I quote, 'This impeachment will be used as a routine tool to fight political battles.' We thought it was a prediction. It was a promise, and now it's playing out. It's exactly what's being done here. ... This is a travesty, and we're in big trouble, because Schumer was right. Now it's lowered the bar. It will be used for political battles, and this country's end is now in sight. I hope I don't live to see it. This is an outrage."

"Doing nothing is not an option"

Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

"Doing nothing here is not an option. Looking away from these crimes against our country is not an option. This is about protecting the future of our nation and our democracy from corruption, abuse of power, criminal cover-ups and bribery."

Democrats "found a way" to "make a coup attempt boring"

Devin Nunes, ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee

"The Ukraine hoax was based on a supposed whistleblower who colluded beforehand with the Democrats. The Democrats then prevented Congress from intervening, interviewing the whistleblower while conducting bizarre, secret depositions and selectively leaking testimony to discredited media hacks. The Democrats showcased the most useful witnesses in public hearings — that somehow reduced support for impeachment. It's not easy to make a coup attempt boring, but the Democrats found a way."

Impeachment "not only patriotic, it is uniquely American"

Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

"What we are doing here today is not only patriotic, it is uniquely American. America is a story of ordinary people confronting abuses of power with a steadfast pursuit of justice. Throughout our history, the oppressed have been relegated to the margins by the powerful, and each time, we have fought back, deliberate in our approach, clear-eyed."

Democrats have "weaponized" the Constitution

Mike Johnson, R-La.

"There has never been a single-party, fraudulent impeachment process like the one being used today. Our Democratic colleagues have weaponized the impeachment provision of the Constitution to nullify the votes of 63 million Americans who elected President Donald J. Trump."

"There can be no serious debate about the evidence at hand"

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

"Taken together, the two articles charge that President Trump placed his private, political interests above our national security, above our elections and above our system of checks and balances. After months of investigation, there can be no serious debate about the evidence at hand."

"Not a solemn occasion"

Doug Collins, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee

"I've said it before, and I will say it again: I do not believe, no matter what was said today and what has been said, this is not a solemn occasion. When you go looking for something for three years, and especially this year, since January, you ought to be excited when you found it. But they can't. Because I know what has now happened. It took me last night, but I was thinking about it. Why do we keep calling this a solemn occasion when you've been wanting to do this ever since the gentleman was elected?"