Watch Nancy Pelosi Open the House’s Final Impeachment Debate

House Television/AP

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Clearing the final procedural hurdles in the House of Representatives’ impeachment process, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday announced the opening of the last stretch of debate before the chamber’s historic vote on whether to impeach President Donald Trump.

“We gather today under the dome of this temple of democracy to exercise one of the most solemn powers that this body can take: the impeachment of the president of the United States,” Pelosi said, standing beside a poster of a billowing American flag above an excerpt from the Pledge of Allegiance: “To the republic for which it stands…”

Pointing to the poster, Pelosi said, “The republic for which it stands is what we are here to talk about today.” Then, with a nod to Benjamin Franklin, “A republic, if we can keep it.”

“Very sadly now, our founders’ vision of a Republic is under threat from actions from the White House,” she continued. Perhaps rebutting Trump’s Impeachment Eve accusation that her demeanor constituted a “false display of solemnity,” she said, “That is why today, as speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States.”

Watch Pelosi’s statement below:

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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