Opinion | Why We Are Introducing an Article of Impeachment


Since his resounding defeat within the presidential election in November, Donald Trump has performed all the things however concede to the democratic will of the American individuals. He unleashed an avalanche of lies and baseless claims of fraud — conspiracy theories that crammed his supporters with a delusional perception that the election had been stolen from him. He filed a bevy of absurd lawsuits. He tried to persuade and intimidate officers in any respect ranges of presidency into subverting the election and maintaining him in workplace. After which, operating out of recourse, professional and illegitimate, he incited an riot in opposition to the federal government and the Structure that he swore to uphold.

The tried coup at america Capitol final Wednesday, which occurred as lawmakers inside counted the electoral votes that may formalize Joe Biden’s overwhelming election by the American individuals, marks one of many lowest factors in our nation’s 245-year experiment in democracy.

From Andrew Jackson to Richard Nixon, we’ve got seen presidents abuse their energy, however we had by no means witnessed an American president incite a violent mob on the citadel of our democracy in a determined try to cling to energy.

We can’t let this go unanswered. With every day, Mr. Trump grows an increasing number of determined. We must always not enable him to menace the safety of our nation for a second longer.

As soon as the Home opens for legislative enterprise, my co-authors — Representatives Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin — and I’ll introduce an article of impeachment to take away Mr. Trump from workplace for incitement of riot.

As lawmakers who’ve impeached this president as soon as earlier than, we don’t take this accountability evenly. In truth, it was not our first selection of motion. Within the midst of final Wednesday’s siege, we have been amongst people who requested Vice President Mike Pence to convene the Cupboard to invoke the twenty fifth Modification to shortly take away Mr. Trump from workplace. We now have referred to as on the president to resign.

Days have handed, and it’s clear that neither of these potentialities will likely be realized. So it’s Congress’s accountability to behave.

The American individuals witnessed Mr. Trump’s actions for themselves. All of us noticed his speech on Jan. 6. We watched his fanatics storm the Capitol at his request. 5 individuals died, together with a U.S. Capitol Police officer and 4 of the president’s supporters. We concern what Mr. Trump could do along with his remaining time in workplace.

That’s the reason we imagine the article of impeachment needs to be voted on as quickly as doable. It’s true that even after we act, Senator Mitch McConnell could, as he did one yr in the past, attempt to stop a conviction within the U.S. Senate. It is usually true {that a} trial would possibly prolong into the primary days of the Biden administration.

Neither of these potentialities ought to deter us in our work. Some argue that one other impeachment trial would additional divide our nation and additional inflame Trump supporters. However the fact is that we do not need a selection. This impeachment cost is supposed to defend the integrity of the republic. Each Democratic and Republican members of Congress should attend to the duties of their oath. Failing to behave would set an irresponsibly harmful precedent for future presidents who’re about to depart workplace.

Additional, there will be no therapeutic of the divisions in our nation with out justice for the person most liable for this horrific riot. The president have to be held accountable. That may occur solely by impeaching him for a second time and convicting him within the Senate. A conviction that may enable Congress to ban him from ever serving in federal workplace once more.

What occurred final Wednesday was an abomination. There is no such thing as a query about that. There may be additionally no query that Mr. Trump turns into extra of a risk to public security by the second.

The one query now could be what Congress will do about it.

David N. Cicilline (@davidcicilline) is a member of the Democratic Get together and Home Judiciary Committee who has represented Rhode Island’s First Congressional District since 2011.

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