Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today delivered the following remarks on the House floor:

"I thank the gentleman and rise to support moving forward to the next, open phase of this impeachment inquiry—so that the American people can hear from witnesses… see the evidence… and understand the troubling story of what’s taken place in this Administration.

"As chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, my priorities are supporting American diplomats and diplomacy… working with partners and allies… and ensuring that our foreign policy advances America’s interests.

"This Administration has unfortunately undermined all those priorities since its first day. But in the last month, we’ve learned more and more about just how deep this goes. 

"The facts are clear: the White House launched a shadow foreign policy that circumvented and undermined our normal diplomatic channels. A distinguished career ambassador was publicly smeared and pushed aside. Critical military aid for Ukraine—a valued partner locked in a life-or-death struggle against Russia—was blocked. 

"The goal?

"Not some foreign policy priority. Not an effort to make our country safer or stronger—quite the opposite, as delaying these resources hurt Ukraine and directly benefited Vladimir Putin.

"Why, then?

"To pressure a foreign government to interfere in our 2020 elections. It’s what the Framers feared most.

"The President’s own words say it best—from the record of the call with President Zelensky as he sought the tools to push back against Russia. Mr. Trump’s answer? “I’d like you to do us a favor though." 

"Since that first damning piece of evidence came to light, the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Committees have worked to fill in the pieces of the puzzle—thanks to the courage of public servants who obeyed the law and testified… even in the face of bullying and intimidation from the Administration… of ugly, baseless smears from the President’s allies. And I condemn the shameful efforts to identify and harass the whistleblower, whose life may be jeopardized for coming forward to tell the truth. I salute all those patriots.

"And I salute my fellow committee chairs, Mr. Schiff, Ms. Maloney, and of course the late Mr. Cummings."