Rep. Joe Kennedy III devoted his speaking time on the House floor Wednesday to put the day in context for future generations — namely, his two young children.
In a speech addressed to Ellie and James, the Massachusetts congressman called the expected vote to impeach President Donald Trump later in the day “a moment you will read about in your history books.”
.@Repjoekennedy: "Dear Ellie and James, this is a moment that you will read about in your history books. Today, I will vote to impeach the President of the United States and I want you to know why…It does not feel good."
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 18, 2019
“Today, I will vote to impeach the president of the United States — and I want to you to know why,” Kennedy said. “He broke our laws. He threatened our security. He abused the highest, most sacred office in our land.”
Trump is expected to be impeached by the Democrat-led House of Representatives for alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, stemming from his attempt earlier this year to get the government of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son for unsubstantiated claims of corruption in return for United States military aid.
Kennedy first called for the House to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump in June, after reading the 2016 election report by special counsel Robert Mueller. But the Newton Democrat said he took no joy in the planned vote Wednesday. (Fellow Democrats have repeatedly referred to the move to impeach the Republican president as a sad and solemn day.)
“I want you to know that it does not feel good,” he said. “I can’t stop thinking about the cost to our country, not just the impeachable offenses, but the collateral damage of a president who uses power as a weapon against his own people, erodes our decency, degrades our dignity.”
However, Kennedy said the legacy of Wednesday, in which Democrats are expected to impeach Trump on a mostly party-line vote, would be that “today, justice won.”
“Let the record show that we did not let you down,” he said, adding, “I love you. Listen to mom. I’ll be home soon.”
If impeached, a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate would be necessary to remove Trump from office. The Republican-controlled upper chamber is expected to acquit him.