1. SOUNDBITE (English) Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House: ++SOUNDBITE PARTIALLY OVERLAID++
"This is a sad day. It's a sad day because nobody comes to Congress to impeach a president of the United States. No one. We've come here to do the work, make the future better for our, for our children, for America's future. We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. And that's what we cannot ignore and we will not ignore when the president's behavior indicates that that investigation, that inquiry is necessary to see inquiry proceed. We'll decide whether we'll go forward with impeachment. That decision has not been made. But here we are again, our founders, September 17th, 1874 excuse me, 1787, they came forth with a constitution, the genius, of which was a separation of powers, three coequal branches of government, balance of power. And when Franklin, Benjamin Franklin came out, they said Mr. Franklin, Mr Franklin, what do we have a monarchy or Republic? He said a republic if we can keep it. And right in the here and now, we are keeping the republic from a president who says Article 2 says, I can do whatever I want. Not so. And if so, if you think that so and you act upon that belief, that is in violation of the Constitution of the United States. And so we will proceed with the facts, the truth. It is about the truth and it's about the Constitution. And we're we're very working hard to defend our democracy, because if we don't have a system of checks and balances, we might as well all just elect a president and go home."
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3. SOUNDBITE (English) Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House: ++SOUNDBITE PARTIALLY OVERLAID++
"These rules are fairer than anything that had gone before in terms of obey an impeachment proceeding. I'm not here to answer what the Republican say. If you make questions, we're doing appropriations. We're doing trade. We're doing drug prices, lowering the cost of drug prices. I'm not here to answer any questions about what the Republicans say, further than to what I have said just now. "
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5. SOUNDBITE (English) Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House: ++SOUNDBITE PARTIALLY OVERLAID++
"As you may understand, I have business on the floor that I have to see to say I'm going to excuse myself. Thank you all very much. "
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a vote to approve ground rules for their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump is a solemn but necessary duty for lawmakers.
"This is a sad day. It's a sad day because nobody comes to Congress to impeach a president of the United States, " Pelosi told reporters after speaking on the House floor, but before Thursday's vote.
"Today we move further down the path of our inquiry by putting forth our procedures," Pelosi said, insisting they were transparent, open and giving "frankly more privileges to the president than were given in the past."
Standing next to a large U.S. flag in the well of the House, Pelosi said the impeachment inquiry was necessary to defend the Constitution and prevent an abuse of power by Trump.
The investigation is focused on Trump's efforts to push Ukraine to investigate his Democratic political opponents by withholding military aid and an Oval Office meeting craved by the country's new president.