February 3, 2020

There were so many — so many — memorable performances from the House Managers throughout the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The House Managers, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, were a team to be reckoned with in terms of experience, scholarship, legal depth, and multi-faceted diversity. After over a week of putting their hearts and souls into attempting to convince their Senate colleagues to hold a trial that resembled any attempted good-faith justice, and getting spat upon in return with a partisan 53-47 vote against allowing witnesses and evidence, no one would have blamed them for entering the chamber today dejected and uninspired. For their closing arguments, though, they were anything but. The final closing remarks were reserved for Rep. Schiff. It's hard to imagine him outdoing himself from previous days' impassioned remarks, but he did just that.

History will not be kind to Donald Trump. I think we all know that. Not because it will be written by Never-Trumpers, but because whenever we have departed from the values of our nation we have come to regret it. And that regret is written all over the pages of our history. If you find that the House has proved its case and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath. If only you will say, "Enough!"


When we look at the sweep of history, there are times when our nation and the rest of the world have moved with a seemingly irresistible force of freedom, to practice our faith and to tolerate the faith of others, love whom we would and choose love over hate, more free societies, walls tumbling down, nations reborn. But then like a pendulum approaching the end of its arc the outward movement begins to arrest. The golden globe of freedom reach it is zenith and starts to retreat. It recedes into a dark unknown. How much further it will travel in its direction, how many more freedoms extinction wished before it turns back, we cannot say but what we do here in this moment will affect its course and its correction.

Every single vote, even a single vote by a single member can change the course of history. It is said that a single man or woman of courage makes a majority. Is there one among you who will say, "Enough?" America believes in a thing called truth. She does not believe we are entitled to our own alternate facts. She recoils at those that spread falsehoods. To her, truth matters. There is nothing more corrosive to the democracy than the idea that there is no truth.

America also believes there is a difference between right and wrong. And right matters here. But there is more. Truth matters. Right matters. But so does decency. Decency matters. When the president smears a public servant like Marie Yovanovitch, we recoil. Because decency matters here. And when the president tries to coerce an ally to help him cheat in our elections and then covers it up, we must say, "Enough! Enough!"

He has betrayed our national security and he will do so again. He's compromised our elections and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What's right matters even less, and decency matters not at all. I do not ask you to convict him because truth or right or decency matters nothing to him, but because we have proven our case and it matters to you. Truth matters to you. Right matters to you. You are decent. He is not who you are.


It may be midnight in Washington, but the sun will rise again. I put my faith in the optimism of the founders. You should, too. They gave us the tools to do the job, a remedy as powerful as the evil it was meant to constrain. Impeachment. They meant it to be used rarely but they put it in the Constitution for a reason. For a man who would sell out his country for a political favor, for a man who would threaten the integrity of of our elections, invite foreign interference in our affairs, for a man to undermine our national security and that of our allies, for a man like Donald J. Trump.

They gave you a remedy and they meant for you to use it. They gave you an oath, and they meant for you to observe it. We have proven Donald Trump guilty. Now do impartial justice and convict him. I yield back.

If only it would make the slightest bit of difference for anything other than the annals of history. One thing you can say about Rep. Schiff, though. He is an orator for the ages, and he loves this country more than it loves him. A finer patriot you'll never meet.

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