A Siege on the U.S. Capitol

January 11, 2021

My fellow Americans, ours is a nation that firmly believes in democracy and the liberties granted to us by our Constitution, so it is with great sadness and concern that I address you today. January 6th, a day now bathed in infamy, was the result of a longstanding effort to spread propaganda which inevitably led to an insurrection. Mr. Trump’s election loss showed the strength of American ideals and our rejection of this criminal president. But this strength cannot endure without a reckoning of the growing forces of darkness that have taken over the Republican Party.

President Trump lost the 2020 election by a wide margin of 74 Electoral College votes. Every state certified their election results. The courts upheld these results against more than 60 lawsuits. And the U.S. Attorney General said there was no evidence of voter fraud or tampering. But despite this, Mr. Trump has repeatedly insisted that the election was a fraud, and many Republican Senators and Members of the House of Representatives have echoed these claims out of self interest.

The culmination of these lies is what we witnessed on the morning of January 6th. As Republicans in Congress ranted about a stolen election in an effort to prevent the Electoral College votes from being certified, President Trump continued to incite his supporters, instructing them to march on the Capitol. That march turned into a mob insurrection intended to prevent a Constitutionally-mandated process from being fulfilled and to stop the will of the American people from being upheld. Emboldened by Republican rhetoric, this mob violently stormed the Capitol and occupied the very center of our democracy, disrupting the proceedings. With few arrests made, the vast majority of those involved in the attack on the Capitol were allowed to go free. Those involved in this terrorist attack must be identified and brought to justice.

Even after order was later restored and the process of certifying the election results resumed, many Republicans continued to claim that the election had been stolen – giving aid and comfort to the domestic terrorists. These Republicans not only turned a blind eye to the rising insurrection, but some actually encouraged violence to prevent our government from functioning as a democracy. That is sedition, and those Senators and Members of Congress responsible for inciting these attacks should be censured and potentially removed from office.

These violent acts, inspired and encouraged by President Trump, have re-enforced that he must be removed from power immediately. I, along with many of my colleagues, have called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, but as his administration signals that they are unlikely or unwilling to remove this threat to our democracy, the House has declared that we will do what is necessary to protect our nation. Should the president refuse to resign or should his administration reject their authority to remove him, we will move forward with articles of impeachment in.

President Trump ignited this fire and Republicans have fueled it. We must ensure that America remains a free and democratic nation, and that includes holding accountable the perpetrators of these domestic terrorist acts and those who incited it.