Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Tom Cole, R-Okla., made their opening cases on Jan. 13 during the second impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump before the House of Representatives.
Democrats are pursuing a quick impeachment a week after Trump gave a speech they say incited insurrection. On Jan. 6, while Congress was in the process of counting Electoral Votes and certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, clashed with police, and forced lawmakers to pause their sessions and evacuate to safety.
McGovern decried the violent mob that attacked the Capitol, saying they were motivated by the “big lie” that had been repeated for months by Trump and his supporters suggesting the election was fraudulent, somehow constituting an “egregious assault on democracy.” “This was not a protest, this was an insurrection,” McGovern said of the siege on the Capitol building, which left five people dead. “Our country came under attack, not from a foreign nation but from within.” McGovern urged fellow members of Congress to vote to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., condemned the Capitol attack and the president’s role in it, but said during debate that he did not support impeachment as a way forward. “Political division has never been more apparent during my lifetime,” he said, adding that impeachment is not a path toward healing. Cole took issue with the rushed timeline of the vote a week before the president leaves office. “If the majority is seeking consensus,” this is not the way to do it, he said. Congress is “following a flawed process” in its rush to impeach Trump, he said, noting that censure could be considered as an alternative response to the president’s actions.
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