One week ago, I was standing on the House floor. Down the street in front of the White House, the President was whipping a mob into a frenzy with false claims of a stolen election.
It was a lie. A big lie. The same big lie he’d been telling for months. He told the mob “we are going to the Capitol” and to “fight like hell.” And they did.
They attacked the Capitol, assaulting police officers, breaking down doors and windows. Some of them carried weapons or plastic restraints. Pipe bombs and assault weapons were found nearby.
Five people died, dozens more were hurt. The truth is that as bad as it was, it was just seconds away from being far worse. The mob came so close to breaching the House and Senate chambers.
This happened for a reason. Because the President of the United States lost an election, but refused to accept the result. He tried for months to overturn it to remain in office, and when he failed in the courts, in the state legislatures, and finally in the Congress, he incited a mob to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
During the last impeachment, we warned our Republican colleagues in the Senate about Donald Trump’s dangerous immorality and what it would mean if he were left in office.
We told the Senators that he had betrayed our national security, and would do so again. That he compromised our elections, and would do so again. That he could not be changed. That he could not be constrained. That in his time left in office he would do damage, a lot of damage. That truth mattered little to him, right mattered even less, and decency not at all.
There were many moments along the way, when last week’s tragedy could have been avoided, had people of courage and conviction stood up and spoken out. But they did not.
Sometimes I feel like grabbing my Republican colleagues by their lapels and asking, "Have you not had your eyes open? Did you not see this coming? Why weren't you listening? Did you have any doubt about this man and what he was capable of?"
All of the warnings were there, yet we were not able to persuade them to act. If only Republican leaders in Congress had put their loyalty to country over loyalty to him.
Today’s decision to impeach President Donald J. Trump is a grave one, but not a difficult one.
Either we uphold our oath to protect the Constitution, or we do not.
Either we safeguard our democracy, or we do not.
Either we remove this dangerous man from office, or we do not.
It’s really that simple.
If you want to join me in the defense of our nation, our Constitution, and our democracy, add your name and show support for today’s vote to impeach: [[link removed]]
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Today, Donald Trump will become the only President in U.S. history to be impeached twice. And those who continue to defend him will have their names tied to his with a cord of steel for all of history.
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