Just one week ago, members of the 117th Congress took the oath of office. Raising our right hands, we swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I took this oath two years ago, as well, and cited it when I voted to impeach the president the first time, following the Mueller report. This week, I’ll vote to impeach the president a second time, following the rampage he organized.
This past November, we held a free and fair election. Due to record turnout, President-Elect Biden won by a significant margin. Rather than concede with grace, President Trump began spreading propaganda—baseless lies—that the election was rigged, that votes were stolen, and that he won by a landslide. This movement was either actively supported, or at best ignored, by Republicans who were elected on the same ballot.
On Jan. 6, this propaganda campaign climaxed to an all-out assault on our democracy when the President of the United States instructed a violent mob to attack government buildings and officials. Doors and windows were smashed, lawlessness and chaos took over, and in what felt like an instant, my colleagues and I became victims of domestic terrorism under the dome of what we thought was one of the securest and most symbolic buildings in the world.
But the truth is, it wasn’t an instant. This wasn’t a peaceful protest that happened to spiral out of control. What unfolded was the result of a disturbing trend that had been brewing and growing, without scrutiny and without consequence, for the last few years.
There is no question that the attack on the Capitol was harrowing. To see a place so sacred and meaningful defiled and disrespected is extremely heartbreaking. Yet, what’s even more devastating, and downright disturbing, is the attitude that we should simply gloss over the attempted coup from last week to find unity amidst the wreckage.
We are at an impasse. We simply cannot move forward from here without holding the President and his party accountable for their actions, or lack thereof. The only way to overcome the division is for Republicans to finally recognize and call out the MAGA cause for what it is: a movement entrenched in white supremacy, in entitlement, and in loyalty to one man, rather than country. For too long, Republicans have either been complicit in the face of this President or have dutifully fallen in line with him. So they, too, are responsible for the pillage that occurred.
My colleagues must reckon with this. They need to know that Americans are serious about consequences. Most of all, they need to know that we reject fascism and authoritarianism; after all, a failed coup attempt that was ignored in 1923 led to a brutal dictatorship only a few years later. History repeats itself—unless we act swiftly and strongly. If the true goal is to preserve our constitutional liberties and our democratic system, we need to act courageously against those who threaten them, even if they sit amongst us in Congress.
Over the last week, I have come out in support of every possible means of removing the current President from office, as soon as possible. He should never be able to hold federal office ever again. Also, investigations into those who voted to overturn our election must begin immediately. As a former prosecutor, I know that this is what the road to justice looks like. I signed onto two impeachment resolutions, as well as a resolution calling on the Vice President and Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. I will honor my oath and vote in support of impeachment this week.
It’s clear: no assault on our fought-for and hard-earned republic should be tolerated and easily dismissed. We will not be deterred from bringing justice to Americans, so that our democracy always prevails. I hope individuals from all sides of the political spectrum join me in this pursuit. Unity now is putting country over party.