Chairman McGovern Opens Debate on Historic Second Impeachment of President Trump
Article charges the president with ‘Incitement of Insurrection’ follow siege on the U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON, DC — This morning, Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) brought to the House Floor H.Res. 24, a historic article of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The article charges the president with ‘Incitement of Insurrection’ for his actions on January 6, 2021, when he delivered a speech inciting his supporters to lay siege to the United States Capitol. This riot temporarily halted the counting of Electoral College votes and led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police Officer.
Chairman McGovern’s remarks are below, video of his remarks is available here:
“M. Speaker, on Wednesday, January 6th, Congress gathered here to fulfill our constitutional duty: tallying the Electoral College victory of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris after a free and fair election. This is a largely ceremonial role for the Congress, one that sends a message to the world that democracy in the United States persists.
“But at a rally just a mile and a half down Pennsylvania Avenue, Donald Trump and his allies were stroking the anger of a violent mob. A Member in this very body proclaimed on stage that, ‘today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.’ Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called for ‘trial by combat.’
“Then, Donald Trump told the crowd, ‘We are going to have to fight much harder...you will never take back our country with weakness.’ The election, which this administration has said was the most secure in our history, was an ‘egregious assault on our democracy,’ according to Donald Trump. Vice President Pence, he said, ‘was going to have to come through for us.’ Trump then told this mob to ‘walk down to the Capitol.’
“The signal was unmistakable: these thugs should stage a coup so Donald Trump can hang on to power. The people’s will be damned.
“This beacon of democracy became the sight of a vicious attack.
“Rioters chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence’ as a noose and gallows were built a stone’s throw from the Capitol steps. Capitol police officers were beaten and sprayed with pepper spray. Attackers hunted down lawmakers to hold them hostage or worse. Staff barricaded doors, people sent text messages to their families to tell them they loved them. They thought they were saying goodbye, M. Speaker.
“This wasn’t a protest. This was an insurrection. This was a well-organized attack on our country that was incited by Donald Trump. Domestic terrorists broke in to the United States Capitol that day. And it’s a miracle more people didn’t die.
“As my colleagues and I were being evacuated to safety, I will never, ever forget what I saw when I looked into the eyes of these attackers: I saw evil, M. Speaker.
“Our country came under attack, not from a foreign nation but from within.
“These were not protesters. These were not patriots. These were traitors. Domestic terrorists, M. Speaker. And they were acting under the orders of Donald Trump.
“Some of my colleagues on the other side have suggested that we just move on from this horror. But to gloss over it would be an abdication of our duty.
“Others on the Republican side have talked about unity. But we can’t have unity without truth and accountability. And I’m not about to be lectured by people who just voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election.
“I’m co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. When we have seen this happen in other countries, we have risen up and we have spoken out. But that’s not all – we have also taken action.
“Why would Congress do anything less when Donald Trump brings that kind of hate and violence to the seat of our government?
“America was attacked and we must respond – even when the cause of this violence resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Each of us took an oath last week. It wasn’t to a party or a person. We vowed to defend the constitution. The actions of Donald Trump have called each of us fulfill that oath today.
“I pray we rise to this responsibility. Because every moment Donald Trump is in the White House, our nation – our freedom – is in danger.
“He must be held to account for the attack on our capitol that he organized and incited. I solemnly urge my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying article.
“The damage this building sustained can be repaired, M. Speaker. But if we don’t hold Donald Trump accountable, the damage done to our nation could be irreversible.”