Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
April 6, 2022
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon urging support for H.Res 1037, which would hold former President Trump officials Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino Jr. in criminal contempt of Congress. Below is a transcript of his remarks and a link to the video:
 
Click here to watch the video.

“I thank the gentleman from Mississippi for yielding. I thank the gentlelady from Wyoming for her courage in standing for the truth. I disagree with many things that the previous speaker said. I disagree with his premises and with his conclusion in many respects. But I do agree with him on one thing. This vote is about the character of the House. I agree with him on that, which is why 435 of us ought to vote for this resolution so that the House can do its duty. Mr. Speaker, once again we are forced to take this step, asking the Justice Department to charge individuals with criminal contempt for refusing to answer subpoenas as issued by the Committee investigating the attack on our Capitol and our democracy on January 6, 2021.

“The two gentlemen of which the previous speaker spoke, I don't know, I have no quarrel with them individually. But we are a nation of laws, not of men. And if we are to be a nation of laws, then we need to respond to legal process. And if we think the assertions are wrong, we need to make our case. On the merits of this resolution, there should be no doubt and it is about the character of this House. The courage of this House to seek honesty, to seek truth. The individuals in question had intimate knowledge of the former President's actions and decisions on that day. No matter who their children are, no matter what their life has been, they have knowledge that is important for the American people to have through their Representatives in Congress. Americans must have a full accounting of what transpired on January 6 and in the weeks leading up to it and perhaps [the weeks] subsequent. That is what the Bipartisan Select Committee has been tasked with undertaking by a vote of this House.

“Sadly, I expect, maybe most of my colleagues across the aisle will vote against this resolution. It is about the character of this House. Perhaps they agree with the Republican National Committee which has said that the violent Trump-led insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the deaths and injury of U.S. Capitol Police officers, and an effort to prevent the certification of an election was, and I quote the Republican National Committee, ‘legitimate political discourse’. How can anybody make that assertion? How can anybody in the Republican National Committee vote for it? Why doesn't everybody on the Republican Party side of the aisle say that is not what we believe? Silence prevails.

“There is no doubt that the insurrection on January 6 itself was a danger to our democracy. But I agree with the Washington Post columnist and former White House speechwriter for Republican President George W. Bush. Michael Gerson, who wrote on December 16, and I quote, ‘it is Republican tolerance for the intolerable that threatens American democracy’. Very frankly, my friends on the other side of the aisle ought to be celebrating those in their ranks who have the courage to stand up for the truth. I've told Liz Cheney, if John Kennedy were writing his book ‘Profiles in Courage’ today, I would urge him to include her and Adam Kinzinger in that book. January 6th was a peril, a day of peril for America, but the greater crisis is when one of our two main political parties has become so hijacked by extremism and so enthralled to a dangerous demagogue that it condones, even celebrates, insurrection and violence.

“Mr. Speaker, how can the same party that claims it honors law enforcement simultaneously declare that violent attacks against police officers are legitimate? How can one of our two political parties be so craven for short-term partisan gain that it is willing to encourage and condone insurrection? How can its Members use their sacred votes in the House, the People's House, in an effort to impede the investigation of this dark and dangerous day in the history of our democracy?

“Because that's what this vote is about. Not only the character of this House, but the character of this country. The character of the people who demand, hopefully, truth, because that is what will set us all free, because that's what this vote is about. Whether you believe that the violent attack on January 6th, one in which a mob threatened the life of the Republican Vice President, [is] legitimate political discourse? And threatened the life of the Speaker of this House. The Speaker of all the House, in an attempt to overthrow our democracy. Does that constitute legitimate political discourse?

“Mr. Speaker, I can't believe Americans believe that and we must reject that theory that the violence that we saw on January 6th, the hate that we saw on January 6th, is somehow legitimate political discourse. Because if people believe that then our democracy is in grave danger. This vote is about whether you believe a certain individual can be held above the law in our country. It's about whether you believe the American people deserve to know all the facts about January 6th  and whether those responsible for the attack ought to be held responsible.

“And most fundamentally, Mr. Speaker, it is about whether the Congress can fulfill its constitutional responsibility and ability to determine the truth. Madam Speaker, Mr. Speaker, this vote will reveal to us who was willing to show tolerance for the intolerable. It will reveal to us who is willing to stand up and defend our democracy and the rule of law, irrespective of party, irrespective of personality. That is a call to patriotism, to love of country, and to love of Constitution. My fellow colleagues, let us do our duty to the Constitution, to the declaration, to our democracy, and to the people we represent. Vote yes.”