This is a transcript of Frank Underwood’s letter to President Walker in episode 26 of season 2 of House of Cards.
Dear Mr President,
I’m writing you on an Underwood portable my father gave me when I left for the Sentinel.
It was the words my father said when he gave it to me that resonated even more than this 70-year-old machine.
“This Underwood built an empire,” he said. “Now you go and build one of your own.”
Those words have been a large part of what motivated my life.
I’ve only written one other letter with these keys. It did not fail me then. I hope it will not fail me now.
You said I wanted to diminish you. The truth is I don’t.
You said I wanted to challenge you in 2016. The truth is I don’t.
You said I wanted the presidency for myself. The truth is… I do.
What politician hasn’t dreamed about what it would be like to take the oath of the highest office of our land?
I’ve stared at your desk in the Oval office and coveted it. The power. The prestige. Those things have a string pull on someone like me – who came from a small South Carolina town with nothing.
But since you assumed office, my only aim has been to fight, for you and alongside you. Whether that be in Congress or, as now, the battle over impeachment.
Maybe one day I’ll have my chance to serve as president, but not while you are the nation’s leader.
And in you, sir, I see a brave man. A just man. A president whom I would follow anywhere no matter how strong the wind blows against us.
I want to tell you something I have never told anyone.
When I was 13 I walked in on my father in the barn. There was a shotgun on his mouth. He waved me over. “Come here, Francis,” he said. “Pull the trigger for me.”
Because he didn’t have the courage to do it himself.
I said “No, Pop,” and walked out, knowing he would never find that courage.
The next seven years were hell for my father, but even more hell for my mother and me. He made all of us miserable, drinking, despair, violence.
My only regret in life, is that I didn’t pull that trigger. He would’ve been better off in the grave and we would have been better off without him.
I’m not going to put you in the same position as my father put me in.
You will find enclosed, on a separate sheet, a confession to the crimes you have been accused of. They’re false words, but my signature will make them true.
Use them if you must.
If you truly believe that I have only served myself, then I have forever lost your trust. All I can do now is give you my freedom to save your own. I said I would take the fall for you, and now I give you the means to make that happen.
I am pulling the trigger myself. We all must make sacrifices to achieve our dreams, but sometimes we must sacrifice ourselves for the greater good. It is my honor to make such a sacrifice now.
Your loyal friend, still in my heart, if not in yours,