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Opposing Remarks: Pelosi And Jordan Give Their Parties' Opening Statements

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wears a protective mask while walking to her office from the House Floor on Wednesday.
Stefani Reynolds
Getty Images
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wears a protective mask while walking to her office from the House Floor on Wednesday.

For the second time in his presidency, the House is moving to impeach Donald Trump, who will become the first president in history to undergo such a rebuke.

Throughout Wednesday's debate, Democrats portrayed Trump as an ongoing threat to the country and democracy, while Republicans largely either defended the president or argued that the impeachment process would only cause further division.

Pelosi's opening remarks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the debate for Democrats, quoting Abraham Lincoln: "Fellow citizens, he said, we cannot escape history. We will be remembered in spite of ourselves."

Pelosi referred to last week's storming of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters that prompted Democrats to begin efforts to remove him from office, one week before President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in.

"We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go," Pelosi said, calling Trump "a clear and present danger to the nation we all love."

Pelosi said Trump "must be impeached, and I believe the President must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man, who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear, and that hold us together."

Jordan's opening remarks

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, one of Trump's staunchest backers, and whom Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom earlier this week, spoke first for Republicans. "We should be focused on bringing the nation together," Jordan said. "Instead, Democrats are going to impeach the president for a second time, one week — one week — before he leaves office."

Jordan said, "They want to cancel the president."

Apparently referring to Twitter and Facebook's decision not to allow Trump to post on their platforms for fear he will encourage further violence, Jordan asked, "Do you have a First Amendment when the cancel culture only allows one side to talk? When you can't even have a debate in this country, this great country, the greatest country ever?"

Jordan warned, "It needs to stop, because if it continues, it won't just be Republicans who get canceled, it won't just be the president of the United States — the cancel culture will come for us all."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.
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