In the midst of last Wednesday’s violent attack on the US Capitol, a text message with the power to make history was sent to every Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
At 3.09 p.m. – just over an hour after violent pro-Trump protesters made their way up the outer steps of the Capitol Building and pushed through the barricades – Representative Ted Liu wrote that the committee “should start drafting isolation materials now, regardless of what the leadership says.”
“We have seen the consequences of the weakness against Trump and his impeachment in the past two months. If we do nothing besides sending out hard-hitting press releases, we are complicit in hitting the justice of the lady and our constitution,” the message read.
The answer the Democrat received – who, like several of his colleagues, still went to an office on Capitol Hill – was unanimous: impeachment.
“As much as our focus at the time was to return to the Capitol, we also realized that we had just been attacked and this was not just an attack on our country. This was an attack instigated by the leader of our country,” Representative Eric Swallowell told the Los Angeles Times.
“The consensus was that we were just attacked, and we cannot allow him to continue to inspire such attacks.”
Today, a little over a week later, and with only a few days left to leave office, Donald Trump becomes the first American president in history to be sued twice, this time for “inciting disobedience.”
“We know that the President of the United States has incited this insurgency and this armed rebellion against our common country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the vote began.
“It must go. It is a clear and present danger to the nation we all love.”
When the indictment was passed – by a margin of 232-197, with 10 Republicans in support – Pelosi said it affirmed “no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States.”
“And now, I am sad and with my heart broken for what this means for our country, a president inciting disobedience will sign the preoccupation with the dismissal article.”
Liu, one of several Californians who played a major role in the impeachment proceeding, immediately began drafting the article with actor David Ceclin of Rhode Island during the many hours of chaos when the rioters came down.
He was joined by judicial committee staff, including constitutional law expert Jimmy Raskin of Maryland. The final text states that Trump “threatens the integrity of the democratic system, interferes with the peaceful transfer of power, and endangers the parity of branches of government.”
“He betrayed his confidence as president, causing the people of the United States to be clearly injured,” the statement read.
When the group working on the four-page script approached Pelosi, “they were very determined to make it clear that the president could not stay in power,” Swallowell told the Los Angeles Times.
Pelosi, who said she offered all options to impeach Trump – censure, impeach Trump, and the 25th amendment – to her election rally on Friday afternoon said she would have preferred Trump resign or Vice President Mike Pence take the last resort.
But as the days following the attack revealed and more details emerged – and Pence stressed he would not demand the 25th amendment – Representative Adam Schiff, director of Trump’s impeachment proceedings for 2019, said it had only stoked politicians’ anger, enabling the move to make gains. popularity.
“This was the situation where people’s decision became greater and greater with each day following the next day,” he told the newspaper.
“The extent of the damage I am doing is graphically revealed more and more frequently every day.”
While Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted this morning that “there is no chance” the upcoming trial in his room could end before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20, multiple sources said that there is more support within the caucus of Democrats in the House alone than He was there in 2019 to get the job done.
“What happened this time was very clear,” San Jose representative Zoe Lovegreen told the Los Angeles Times, adding that a lengthy listening process would not be necessary.
“I mean he incited a right-wing gang of rebels to come and bring down the constitutional government a week ago. You don’t need a long investigation to find out.”