Washington—Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today led Democratic members of the Committee in calling for the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump for instigating the violent attack on the United States Capitol this Wednesday. In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the lawmakers underscored that the president’s actions have already emboldened demagogues around the world and holding him accountable is critical to help restore U.S. global leadership on democracy and the rule of law.
“There is a foreign policy imperative to hold the President accountable for his actions—we must demonstrate to the world that no one in America is above the law and counter our adversaries’ propaganda that democracy is a failed system…. the Constitution demands that we, as members of the House of Representatives, use every tool at our disposal to safeguard our country and our democracy during this perilous time by holding to account those who would do them harm. That tool is impeachment,” the members wrote.
Full text of the letter can be found here and below:
Dear Madam Speaker:
On January 6, 2021, at the urging of the President of the United States, the U.S. Capitol was attacked by armed insurrectionists. This attack took place during a joint session of Congress that was mandated under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution in order to count the votes of the Electoral College and ensure a peaceful transition of power following the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris in a free and fair election.
The attack was encouraged by President Donald J. Trump, who had urged his supporters to travel to Washington, D.C. for the purpose of fomenting violence and disrupting Congress from carrying out its constitutional obligations, and who had, minutes earlier, urged them to “show strength.” Urged on by the Commander-in-Chief, insurrectionists – some of them armed – subsequently attacked law enforcement officials and broke into the U.S. Capitol. In response, the President put out a video statement seeking to justify these acts of violent insurrection, telling the violent mob who sought to overturn the election on his behalf, “we love you, you’re very special.”
These facts, coming on the heels of months of lies from the President about the election he lost and the Constitutional system of government he is sworn to defend, could not be plainer. In all of this, President Donald Trump has violated his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the Office of the President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, as well as his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
By doing so, he is also putting our national security at risk and jeopardizing the stability of an international world order premised on principles of democracy and the rule of law. The world watched as this assault on our democracy, enflamed and encouraged by President Trump, played out on national television. Chairman Meeks issued a joint statement with Ranking Member McCaul on January 6 noting that the President’s damaging assault on our democracy extends far beyond our shores. Rather, the day’s violence was “an inevitable result when leaders in positions of power misled the public [that] will certainly empower dictators and damage struggling democracies.” As such, there is a foreign policy imperative to hold the President accountable for his actions—we must demonstrate to the world that no one in America is above the law and counter our adversaries’ propaganda that democracy is a failed system.
Private companies have recognized the clear and present danger that President Trump’s words and conduct pose to our nation and have blocked his ability to use their social media platforms to encourage further violence. If the President cannot be trusted with Twitter and Facebook for the remaining days of his term in office, he certainly cannot be trusted with the awesome power of the Presidency.
Article I of the Constitution imposes on the House of Representatives the heavy burden of safeguarding our democracy by giving us “the sole power of impeachment.” Never in recent history has the threat to our institutions, the rule of law, and a peaceful, democratic world order been so acute, so direct, and so indisputably traceable to one person.
While we support calls for the cabinet to remove President Trump immediately by invoking the 25th Amendment, the Constitution demands that we, as members of the House of Representatives, use every tool at our disposal to safeguard our country and our democracy during this perilous time by holding to account those who would do them harm. That tool is impeachment. So I and the undersigned Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee ask that you support an immediate, rapid, and overwhelming repudiation of President Trump by impeachment, trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any future office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States. The Constitution, and our own oaths of office, require nothing less.
On January 6, as insurrectionists urged on by President Trump stormed the Capitol and tried to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional duty of certifying the election of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris, Chairman Meeks and Ranking Member McCaul released a joint statement noting that these acts were “an inevitable result when leaders in positions of power misled the public [that] will certainly empower dictators and damage struggling democracies.” That statement can be found here.
Chairman Meeks subsequently released a statement on January 7 committing to work to hold the President accountable through removal from office and disqualification from future office. That statement can be found here.
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