Washington, DC –Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), a member of the House Intelligence and Oversight Committees, released the following statement regarding the House vote to formally authorize impeachment proceedings.

“Today, Congress voted to authorize the process we will use for the next phase of the formal impeachment inquiry. While this is indeed a difficult time for our country, the cost of doing nothing is far too great. This resolution is a demonstration that the House remains committed to a fair, lawful, and open process that Americans can trust. I urge my Republican colleagues to participate in this process and see for themselves what this President is doing to our democracy and those who stand in defense of it.

The process outlined in H. Res 660 includes holding open hearings and transmitting evidence to the Judiciary Committee for consideration of articles of impeachment. While such a resolution is not required for the impeachment to lawfully proceed, we are taking this extraordinary step in the interest of transparency – something the President has been depriving the American people of for far too long. The President will also benefit from unprecedented protections compared with his predecessors. His counsel will have the ability to ask questions at the presentation of evidence, something denied to President Nixon, and will also be invited to offer a concluding presentation. The President will also receive a copy of the statement of information and related documents and other evidentiary material and may attend the presentation of evidence. The Ranking Member of the minority may issue subpoenas with the concurrence of the Chair or as authorized by a Committee vote.

This process is just, transparent, and what the Republicans previously purported to want, though now claim otherwise. The mountain of damning evidence gathered by the three committees so far and the compelling and corroborated testimony of nonpolitical, lifelong civil servants and decorated military servicemembers who have bravely stepped forward in the face of unimaginable pressure can no longer be brushed aside or carelessly denied. It’s time for the facts and evidence to be put to the American people so that they can decide the matter for themselves. It’s time to protect and defend the Constitution.”