Brindisi Statement on Articles of Impeachment

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December 17, 2019
Press Release

Today, Congressman Anthony Brindisi issued the following statement:

 

“President Trump is my President too. I’ve always said I would work with him to get things done, as I have demonstrated. President Trump signed my first bill into law to extend key housing and transportation programs to our nation’s veterans who need them. I worked together with the President to push a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. Soon he will sign into law major provisions I championed in the National Defense Authorization Act including huge support for Rome Labs, and my SPOONSS Act that will create jobs by requiring the military to buy American-made flatware from Central New York. We have also passed the first-ever fentanyl sanctions legislation, cracking down on illicit drug traffickers in China and Mexico that are flooding our streets with synthetic opioids.

 

However, I will always put Country first and stand up for what I believe in when I think he is wrong.

 

I took an oath to defend the Constitution. What the President has done is not something I can pretend is normal behavior. It is also not okay for the President to block the testimony of key subpoenaed witnesses that had direct knowledge of the administration’s actions. There is a difference between working with a President and checking that same President. My job is to do both. I will be voting for the articles of impeachment and I look forward to getting right back to work to get things done for the American people.”

 

In an op-ed published across his district, Brindisi outlined his reasoning for his vote. The full opinion piece is below:

 

Brindisi: We Must Protect the Rule of Law

 

The rule of law is what holds our great Country together. It is more important than any one person, slogan, or politician. It is what makes us an enduring nation.

 

In Congress, the rule of law is bound by the pages of our Constitution. Whether we realize it or not, the Constitution is part of our daily lives.

 

It is the constitutional framework that guides our local laws in every statehouse and legislative body across the Country.

 

Our founding fathers, who drafted the Constitution, created a federal government with three unique and equal branches, designed specifically to be a check on the other, not a blind partner.

 

In other words, a true and sustaining government only works if its power is divided, people-driven, and painstakingly checked.

 

Congress has a duty to work together with the President. The catch is—it must never be obliged to obey any president, from either party, if doing so ignores the rule of law.

 

As anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention of 1787, one person asked Benjamin Franklin "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

 

James Madison, our fourth President, and the “Father of the Constitution,” explained in the Federalist Papers that each branch checks the power of the other two. That’s how our Republic endures.

 

It is the greatest honor of my life to serve as a member of Congress, and this impeachment process has caused me great pain.

 

Why?

 

Because I’ve successfully partnered with this President to improve the lives of many American families.

 

He has signed my bills into law, one of the few freshmen he’s honored in this way. And we are not finished yet.

 

President Trump signed my first bill into law to extend key housing and transportation programs to our nation’s veterans who need them. I worked together with the President to push a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. Soon he will sign into law major provisions I championed in the National Defense Authorization Act including huge support for Rome Labs, and my SPOONSS Act that will create jobs by requiring the military to buy American-made flatware from Central New York. We have also passed the first-ever fentanyl sanctions legislation, cracking down on illicit drug traffickers in China and Mexico that are flooding our streets with synthetic opioids.

 

You see, when tethered to the rule of law—a force for good—President Trump and both parties in Congress can get great things done.

 

President Trump is my President too. I’ve always said I would work with him to get things done, as I have demonstrated. However, I will always put Country first and stand up for what I believe in when I think he is wrong.

 

When it comes to impeachment, I was reluctant to pursue this path. I was one of the last to endorse the impeachment inquiry and have held back judgment until I reviewed all the evidence. I have been critical of members on both sides who were quick to cast their judgment condemning the President before all the evidence was in or who rush to defend the President from all accusations. I have spent weeks reviewing transcripts, talking to Constitutional law experts and reading scholarly articles about impeachment. I’ve read thousands of emails and heard hundreds of phone calls from constituents to my office.

 

There is little doubt, the President made a grave error--intended or not--in his “perfect” call with Ukraine. The fact that the President made a political request to a foreign leader of a troubled country with the intention for it to impact an American rival is beyond disappointing. In fact, it is unconstitutional.

 

I took an oath to defend the Constitution. What the President has—on national television—admitted to doing is not something I can pretend is normal behavior. It is also wrong for the President to block the testimony of key subpoenaed witnesses that had direct knowledge of the Administration’s actions. There is a difference between working with a President and checking that same President. My job is to do both.

 

I know some people will be angry at my decision, but I was elected to do what is right, not politically safe.

 

I believe there is sufficient evidence presented to move forward with a trial in the Senate, and it will be their job to decide whether the President should be removed from office.

 

No one comes to Washington or spends hours away from their young family with the goal of impeachment. But if we care about the rule of law, the scales of justice, and the future generations we might shape, we must put our faith in the arc of history and our Constitution.