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 BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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