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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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