Submitted by Patrick Cassidy
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) voted to pass H.Res. 24, an Article of Impeachment Charging President Trump with Incitement of Insurrection. The vote comes following the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th by criminal insurrectionists, and after the House passed a resolution calling on Vice President Pence to heed the growing bipartisan call to exercise Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and declare the President incapable of executing the duties of his office. The January 6th siege represented the first time the U.S. Capitol has been ransacked and desecrated since the War of 1812, and the first time it has been evacuated since September 11th, 2001. It resulted in at least five deaths, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer who died defending the Capitol.
H.Res. 24 states in part that, “In his conduct while President of the United States—and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States […] —Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” The House passed the Article of Impeachment in bipartisan fashion today by a vote of 232-197.
“There is no question that the President helped to foment and incite an attack on our Capitol and our democracy on January 6th, and Representatives from both sides of the aisle came together today to show that there are consequences for these sorts of actions,” said Congressman Courtney. The President incited a crowd of his supporters to march on Congress with express purpose to illegally and violently obstruct a Constitutionally mandated proceeding, namely to tally the certified results of the electoral college. The President’s remarks falsely claimed that the election was ‘stolen’, and called on the crowd to march on the Capitol and ‘fight like hell’ to ‘take back our country.’ Leaders and elected officials from across the political spectrum, including from the President’s own Cabinet and leaders in the private sector, have stated that it was blindingly obvious that he incited the deadly violence, and afterwards failed to adequately quell the mayhem that trapped Vice President Pence and the leaders of a co-equal branch in a basement for hours.”
“It would have been best for the country for President Trump to resign. Absent that, the House still sought an alternate path by encouraging the Vice President to activate Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, and to remove the President without the Constitutional path of Impeachment. Vice President Pence refused, and the Congress has been left with no choice—we swore an oath to the Constitution, and our job here is clear. The President’s actions must be met with consequence. I am proud of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who did the right thing today by voting for this Article of Impeachment.”
The Article of Impeachment states that President Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States, in that:
- On January 6, 2021, […] the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College.
- In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by state or federal officials.
- Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. There, he reiterated false claims that “we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.” He also willfully made statements that, in context encouraged – and foreseeably resulted in – lawless action at the Capitol, such as “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
- Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the result 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.
- President Trump’s conduct on January 6, 2021, followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Those prior efforts included a phone call on January 2, 2021, during which President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results and threatened Secretary Raffensperger if he failed to do so.
- In all this, 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.
- Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”