Val Demings on Principles & Values
Demings is also mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate in Florida in 2022 as well, although Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried seems well positioned to take on Governor Ron Desantis, a Trump acolyte, in 2022.
Florida has never elected a Black woman as Governor or U.S. Senator. Jennifer Carroll, a Black, Clay county conservative Republican, served as Lt. Governor before she was forced to step down after she was caught up in a scandal over local gaming.
During a July 25, 2019, call between President Trump and President Zelensky, President Zelensky expressed gratitude for U.S. military assistance. President Trump immediately responded by asking President Zelensky to "do us a favor though" and openly pressed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden and the 2016 conspiracy theory. In turn, President Zelensky assured President Trump that he would pursue the investigation and reiterated his interest in the White House meeting.
Although President Trump's scheme intentionally bypassed many career personnel, it was undertaken with the knowledge and approval of senior Administration officials, including the President's Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. In fact, at a press conference weeks after public revelations about the scheme, Mr. Mulvaney publicly acknowledged that the President directly tied the hold on military aid to his desire to get Ukraine to conduct a political investigation, telling Americans to "get over it."
President Trump and his senior officials may see nothing wrong with using the power of the Office of the President to pressure a foreign country to help the President's reelection campaign. Indeed, President Trump continues to encourage Ukraine and other foreign countries to engage in the same kind of election interference today. However, the Founding Fathers prescribed a remedy for a chief executive who places his personal interests above those of the country: impeachment. Accordingly, as part of the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in coordination with the Committees on Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs, were compelled to undertake a serious, sober, and expeditious investigation into whether the President's misconduct warrants that remedy.
The Framers were careful students of history and knew that threats to democracy could take many forms. Therefore, they adopted a standard for impeachment that captured a range of misconduct: "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." A clear theme unified these constitutional wrongs: officials who abused, abandoned, or sought personal benefit from their public trust--and who threatened the rule of law if left in power--faced impeachment and removal. The Framers principally intended "other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" to include three forms of Presidential wrongdoing: (1) abuse of power, (2) betrayal of the national interest through foreign entanglements, and (3) corruption of office and elections. Any one of these violations of the public trust justifies impeachment. When combined in a single course of conduct, as is the case here, they state a powerful case for impeachment and removal from office.
During a July 25, 2019 phone call, after President Zelensky expressed gratitude to President Trump for American military assistance, President Trump immediately responded by asking President Zelensky to "do us a favor though." The "favor" he sought was for Ukraine to publicly announce two investigations that President Trump believed would improve his domestic political prospects.
One investigation concerned former Vice President Joseph Biden, Jr.--a political rival in the upcoming 2020 election--and the false claim that, in seeking the removal of a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor four years earlier, then-Vice President Biden had acted to protect a company where his son was a board member. The second investigation concerned a debunked conspiracy theory that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 Presidential election to aid President Trump, but instead that Ukraine interfered in that election to aid President Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.
These theories were baseless. There is no credible evidence to support the allegation that the former Vice President acted improperly in encouraging Ukraine to remove an incompetent and corrupt prosecutor in 2016. And the U.S. Intelligence Community, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III unanimously determined that Russia, not Ukraine, interfered in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election "in sweeping and systematic fashion" to help President Trump's campaign. In fact, the theory that Ukraine, rather than Russia, interfered in the 2016 election has been advanced by Russia's intelligence services as part of Russia's propaganda campaign.
The Senate should immediately remove President Trump from office to prevent further abuses. President Trump has demonstrated his continued willingness to corrupt free and fair elections, betray our national security, and subvert the constitutional separation of powers--all for personal gain.
President Trump's ongoing pattern of misconduct demonstrates that he is an immediate threat to the Nation and the rule of law. It is imperative that the Senate convict and remove him from office now, and permanently bar him from holding federal office.
President Trump's repeated abuse of power presents an ongoing threat to our elections. President Trump's solicitation of Ukrainian interference in the 2020 election is not an isolated incident. It is part of his ongoing and deeply troubling course of misconduct that, as the First Article of Impeachment states, is "consistent with President Trump's previous invitations of foreign interference in United States elections."
These previous efforts include inviting Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. As Special Counsel Mueller concluded, the "Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion."
The Senate should convict and remove President Trump to avoid serious and long-term damage to our democratic values and the Nation's security. If the Senate permits President Trump to remain in office, he and future leaders would be emboldened to welcome, and even enlist, foreign interference in elections for years to come. Failure to remove President Trump would signal that a President's personal interests may take precedence over those of the Nation, alarming our allies and emboldening our adversaries. Our leadership depends on the power of our example and the consistency of our purpose," but because of President Trump's actions, "[b]oth have now been opened to question."
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Freshman class of 2019:
"Freshman class" means "not in Congress in January 2017", with exceptions:
* Special election, so sworn in other than Jan. 2019
** Served in Congress in a previous term
*** Lost recount or general election
Freshman class of January 2019 (Republicans):
FL-6:Waltz ; FL-15:Spano ; FL-17:Steube
MN-1:Hagedorn ; MN-8:Stauber
OH-12*:Balderson ; OH-16:Gonzalez
PA-9:Meuser ; PA-11**:Smucker ; PA-12*:Keller ; PA-13:Joyce ; PA-14:Reschenthaler
TN-2:Burchett ; TN-6:Rose ; TN-7:Green
TX-2:Crenshaw ; TX-3:Taylor ; TX-5:Gooden ; TX-6:Wright ; TX-21:Roy ; TX-27*:Cloud
VA-5:Riggleman ; VA-6:Cline
Freshman class of January 2019 (Democrats):
AZ-2**:Kirkpatrick ; AZ-9:Stanton
CA-49:Levin ; CA-10:Harder ; CA-21:Cox ; CA-25:Hill ; CA-39:Cisneros ; CA-45:Porter ; CA-48:Rouda
CO-2:Neguse ; CO-6:Crow
FL-26:Mucarsel-Powell ; FL-27:Shalala
IA-1:Finkenauer ; IA-3:Axne
IL-4:Garcia ; IL-6:Casten ; IL-14:Underwood
MA-3:Trahan ; MA-7:Pressley
MI-8:Slotkin ; MI-9:Levin ; MI-13:Tlaib ; MI-13*:Jones ; MI-11:Stevens
MN-2:Craig ; MN-3:Phillips ; MN-5:Omar
NJ-2:Van Drew ; NJ-3:Kim ; NJ-7:Malinowski ; NJ-11:Sherrill
NM-1:Haaland ; NM-2:Torres Small
NV-3:Lee ; NV-4**:Horsford
NY-14:Ocasio-Cortez ; NY-11:Rose ; NY-19:Delgado ; NY-22:Brindisi ; NY-25:Morelle
PA-4:Dean ; PA-5:Scanlon ; PA-6:Houlahan ; PA-7:Wild ; PA-17*:Lamb
TX-7:Fletcher ; TX-16:Escobar ; TX-29:Garcia ; TX-32:Allred
VA-2:Luria ; VA-7:Spanberger ; VA-10:Wexton