"I've enforced the laws and now I write the laws," said Congresswoman Val Demings during the debate before the House Impeachment vote yesterday. "But the laws mean nothing if the accused can destroy evidence, stop witnesses from testifying and blatantly refuse to cooperate."
She wants Trump out.
Many lawmakers pleaded an impassioned case to ditch the sitting president during the six hours of deliberation on Wednesday, before the House went on to vote for Trump's impeachment. During and before the house debate, many more politicians, full of bluster and blowhardery, defended or denounced the President.
Yet few have stood out like Demings, who represents Florida’s 10th district that covers parts of Orlando, Winter Garden, Oviedo, Windermere, Ocoee and Eatonville.
She is also on the House Intelligence Committee, which held the open impeachment hearings, and has made numerous appearances on cable and network news shows to argue that Trump should be impeached.
The moment that initially pushed Demings into the spotlight was an exchange early in the impeachment hearings regarding Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani in which she asked if, under Trump, Giuliani was "promoting U.S. interests." Both witnesses said no.
The clip was widely shared on social media, and she's become – if not the face – one of the central figures in the Democrats' impeachment effort.
This set the stage for her speech, which, in her rich voice, stood above the many clamoring voices as especially authoritative. The first woman to be Orlando Police chief (that's when she enforced the law) stood next to a sign that read "No one is above the law," and called Trump a recidivist, saying she knows how to take care of people with such little regard for the law.
"I know the president said he can get away with anything he wants to," said Demings before the vote. "I come today to tell you that no, he cannot. No one is above the law. And he shall be held accountable." She finished to a smattering of applause from some House members, despite the late hour on a full day of speechifying.
As the Democratic Party searches for its 2020 nominee, and as the party also searches its soul, someone like Demings so resoundingly rising to the occasion of impeachment indicates she could become a much greater voice in the years ahead.