'Petulant Child' and 'Pontius Pilate': Georgia Delegation Plays Key Role In House Impeachment Debate
In Washington, members of Congress are stating their cases for and against two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The debate process is expected to last six hours and will prominently feature a number of representatives from Georgia.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville Rep. Doug Collins delivers opening remarks on the House floor.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, ranking member of the House judiciary committee, continues to have the largest role of Georgia’s delegation as the president’s chief defender. As ranking member, Collins will manage members of his party who wish to debate on the House floor. House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, will oversee Democratic members.
Collins was the first to speak in defense of the Trump and, echoing his arguments from committee debate, criticized the process.
“From the very moment that the majority party in this House won, the inevitability that we would be here today was only a matter of what date they would schedule it,” Collins said.
He criticized Democratic party leaders calling the process “awful” and “deplorable.” During his opening remarks, Collins argued that the two articles being voted on, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, were amorphous and proof that the president did nothing wrong.
“Abuse of power, because they can’t actually pin anything of factual basis on him, the president did nothing wrong in this issue,” Collins said. “And they’re going to talk about obstruction of Congress. You know, ‘obstruction of Congress’ is like petulant children saying we didn’t get our way when we didn’t ask the right way and didn’t try to make a case.”
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-LithoniaRep. Hank Johnson speaks on the House floor.
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, was the first Democrat from Georgia to speak during the debate. He reminded members of the House that he was not in favor of impeachment before the investigation began and that it would “embolden Trump” if the House were to ignore his actions.
We are not asked to possess even a fraction of the courage of civil rights heroes & patriots. We are simply called upon today to do what’s right. And I’m proud to vote yes on impeachment. #DefendOurDemocracy #Impeachment pic.twitter.com/yAPwBQQAOt— Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) December 18, 2019
Johnson argued that the president was working to sabotage the upcoming election and warned of the dangers of election meddling.
“If you think I exaggerate in warning that our elections can be undermined,” Johnson said, “I’d urge you to come down to Georgia, find a black man or woman of a certain age, and they’ll tell you the danger is real.”
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville Rep. Barry Loudermilk delivers remarks on the House floor.
Congressman Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, advanced the Republican defense of Trump during his remarks claiming that the president has been treated worse than Jesus.
During his remarks on the House floor, the Republican from Georgia’s 11th Congressional District went further in his criticism of the process than the president’s own comparison of the house proceedings to the Salem witch trials.
“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers," Loudermilk said Wednesday.
“...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 Democrats have afforded this president in this process.” #ShamImpeachment pic.twitter.com/n8FZRe64eo— Barry Loudermilk (@RepLoudermilk) December 18, 2019
"During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats have afforded this president in this process."
Rep. John Lewis, D-AtlantaRep. John Lewis speaking in support of impeachment on the House floor.
The longest serving member of Georgia’s delegation, Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, delivered a passionate speech saying “this is a sad day; it is not a day of joy.”
The civil rights icon spoke about his history of working with presidents dating back to President John Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, but said Wednesday his moral obligation moves him to vote in favor of impeachment of Trump.
“For some this vote may be hard,” Lewis said, “but we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”
Lewis, who marched along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, has long been critical of Trump. For years the two have publicly traded barbs. After Trumps victory in 2016 Lewis said he would not attend his inauguration because he believed Russian interference aided Trump’s victory. In response, then President-elect Trump criticized Lewis’ home district tweeting that it was “in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested.)”
Rep. Jody Hice, R-GreensboroRep. Jody Hice speaking in defense of President Trump on the House floor.
As House floor debate passed five hours, Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, briefly took to the well to reiterate Republican defenses calling the process a "disgrace to America."
Briefly before delivering his remarks Hice, who has served Georgia's 10th district since 2015, took to twitter to revive the idea that those who are unhappy with President Trump should take their displeasure to the ballot box rather than to pursue impeachment.
"The 2020 election is less than a year away — we should give Americans the opportunity to weigh in at the ballot box to determine their President."
The 2020 election is less than a year away — we should give Americans the opportunity to weigh in at the ballot box to determine their President.@HouseDemocrats admitted their goal for impeachment is simply to prevent @POTUS's reelection.
I say, let the PEOPLE decide!— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) December 18, 2019
"This has been a sham and act of injustice against the president and against 93 million americans who voted for him," Hice said Wednesday afternoon. The figure Hice quoted for Trump's 2016 election victory was off by several million votes, according to the Associated Press, 62,984825 people voted for Trump in 2016's election.
Editors Note: this story will be updated as members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia continue to deliver remarks.