House Impeaches Trump for Incitement of Insurrection

A bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives has voted to impeach Donald Trump for Incitement of Insurrection, by a margin of 232 to 197. 10 Republicans joined all of the Democrats in voting to impeach Trump for his role in the violent attack on the Capitol one week ago.

House Resolution 24, Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors, specifies:

incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.

The Article of Impeachment also states:

President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

The gravity of these charges explains why this was the most bipartisan vote to impeach a President in US history. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy did not vote to impeach, but he did say earlier in the day that “the President bears responsibility” for the insurrectionists’ attack on the Capitol.

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Letter to the GOP on Impeaching Trump for Insurrection

To all Republicans in the United States Senate and House of Representatives:

Donald Trump will be impeached for inciting insurrection, because he incited insurrection. The 14th Amendment prohibits you from using your office to provide him aid or comfort.

Since many in the Republican Party seem to think it would be politically risky to break from Trump—even after he sent armed paramilitaries to attempt a coup and again today threatened to attack our country—all who would stand by him need to rethink their notions of future electability.

  • You cannot campaign as being for “law and order” if you don’t stand firm against Trump’s incitement of armed insurrection against the Constitution.
  • You cannot call yourself a patriot if you don’t stand firm against the seditious conspiracy and ALL of its adherents.
  • You will not be able to claim the mantle of Lincoln if, when your nation was attacked by Nazis and traitors, you stood by and asked that the rest of the country try to understand them.
  • To use the language of Title 18, Section 2383, of the US Code, Trump incited and “set on foot” a gang of paramilitary attackers to storm the Capitol.
  • The attackers killed a police officer who died bravely defending you. Trump took the life of Officer Sicknick and sent terrorists to kill the Vice President.
  • No one will ever take you seriously as pro-life, or even minimally loyal to anything, if you use your vote to give aid to Trump.

While the Capitol endured its first armed attack since the War of 1812, and a terrorist coup plot is still underway (in all 50 states, according to the FBI), the nation is also weathering an unprecedented cyber attack from foreign adversaries. And, it must be recognized, the bot army used by Trump to radicalize millions is a form of cyber war.

It may feel daunting, if you were a pro-Trump Republican in 2020, to challenge the menacing force of that bot army; you may even be facing threats from pro-Trump extremists, but when that bot army is no longer able to aid Trump in his attack on the republic, all anyone will see is complicity.

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Time Capsule: 196 Hours to Inauguration

A note on our moment, for future reference:

At this writing, on a Tuesday morning, there are 196 hours till the Inauguration of Joe Biden and the end of the presidency of Donald Trump. That’s 8 days and 4 hours. While some allies of Trump resist calls for his removal, the entire nation is seriously discussing whether he should resign, be removed as unfit for office under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, or face his second impeachment, this time for Incitement of Insurrection.

The reason the debate is serious is that no one, not even his own staff, can be sure he is not a clear and present danger to the republic. He has been banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. An entire pro-Trump social media platform has been shut down by service providers, for helping to incite insurrection, yet Trump still tries to fan the flames of sedition with conspiracy theories.

Today, he will visit the border region of Texas, known to be rife with paramilitary extremist groups, to celebrate his deliberate torture of families seeking asylum from violence and deprivation. He is doing this, while the FBI reports paramilitary extremists are planning “armed protests” in all 50 states and will again seek to target the Capitol, in a siege planned for January 16-20.

We have, in fact, a rogue president, who appears unable or unwilling to honor his oath of office. There is, at this moment, real, widespread, even global, concern that the sitting President of the United States could engage in actual atrocities if allowed to remain in charge of the US government.

A minority of members of Congress are, today, deciding whether they will cast a vote to provide him with aid and comfort after he incited and set on foot a seditious mob, with instructions to attack the Capitol. It should be noted: Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibits them from providing him with that aid and comfort.

We must honor the sacred spaces of self-government

The Democracy Witness project began as an affirmation of the rights of all people, everywhere, to enjoy self-determination and open government. The foundation for this publication’s work is the requirement that any government derive its just powers from the voluntary and informed consent of the governed.

Last week’s attack on the US Capitol by paramilitary insurrectionists, incited to violence by a rogue president and his corrupt allies, have caused us to refocus on the importance of treating as sacred the spaces where self-government plays out. The US Capitol is one such place—arguably the most open legislative body in the world, where any person can freely engage in good-faith policy discussion with elected officials and their staff.

Some legislators have full time staff devoted to answering correspondence from those they represent. Some offices will answer millions of pieces of correspondence per year. It is possible, in the United States, for ordinary people to fill the calendar of meetings and to contribute substantively to discussions on racial discrimination, police reform, taxation, economic development, education policy, healthcare access rights, environmental protection and climate action, and on matters of peace and security.

American democracy is not perfect, but it does allow everyone to play a role, if they wish to. The attack on the Capitol was an attempt to subvert the right of hundreds of millions of people to enjoy the fruits of open government. Nothing the attackers or their sympathizers say can change that fact.

We will be using the United States Capitol as a symbol for Democracy Witness, for the indefinite future, as a sign of respect for that highest of all principles of democratic process—that people working in good faith for the betterment of their communities and their fellow citizens have an absolute right to meet with and constructively inform those who represent them in the halls of government.

Democracy is about the demilitarization of the civic space. We call on all political actors everywhere to work peacefully, and constructively, for a society in which force can never displace reason, participatory process, or the full and equal protection of the laws.

This is why we have always loved sharing images of citizens gathering to meet with government in good faith, to talk policy, to build political will for a better future. There is joy, and real empowerment, in living your democracy that way. May it again be the norm in the weeks and months ahead, and when we overcome the scourge of COVID-19 that has kept so many so far from others.

Terrifying Details About the Capitol Hill Riots Keep Coming Out

By Claire Lampen, for New York Magazine’s The Cut

As chaos broke out at the Capitol, lawmakers and reporters alike found themselves directly in harm’s way. For members of the press, whom the president has spent the past four years maligning, an armed mob of his disciples felt particularly terrifying.

… “Much of what we saw — silly costumes, people taking selfies and grabbing the Speaker’s lectern — looked kind of like a group that might even attend a Trump boat parade,” Hayes said. “But there was something way, way darker, more violent, more sinister, and more organized happening in that Capitol on Wednesday, and it’s time we see it clearly.”

Read the full article here.

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