December 18, 2019

Castro Floor Speech Ahead of House Impeachment Vote

– As Delivered –

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a member of the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, today delivered the following remarks on the House floor ahead of the House of Representative’s historic vote to impeach the President of the United States:

“Thank you. As my colleagues have said, the evidence of the President’s abuse of power and obstruction of Congress is uncontested. 

“But let’s outline a few key events involving the nearly $400 million in military aid that was held up by President Trump and for President Trump, despite congressional mandate.

“The summer of 2019 was the summer of shame at The White House. On July 3rd, The White House first blocks security assistance money for Ukraine, with no explanation. On July 10th, Gordon Sondland states during a White House meeting with Ukrainian officials that President Zelensky would get a White House meeting only after announcing an investigation into Trump’s political rival. On July 18th, a White House staffer announces the freeze on Ukrainian aid, per a direct Presidential order. And just one day after Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress, President Trump makes the now infamous phone call with Zelensky, asking him to investigate the Bidens,

“Then things start to fall apart. See, The White House learns that a whistleblower has reported President Trump’s phone call with President Zelensky in a complaint. And on September 9th, Congress then starts to investigate the President’s actions.

“And then the jig is up. On September 11th, the aid is suddenly released, without explanation, over two months later.

“When you read the call transcript and follow the timeline I’ve laid out, guilty is guilty. Nothing changed during that time regarding the President’s supposed “concerns” over corruption. So, let’s be clear – the military aid was released because the President got caught.

“But getting caught doesn’t get you off the hook. And I ask my colleagues – is attempted murder a crime? Is attempted robbery a crime? Is attempted extortion and bribery by a President a crime?

“Yes, it is.

“The only question now is whether we will find the moral courage to stand up for our country and impeach the President of the United States.

“I yield back.”

For a link to the full speech, click here.

# # #