BISHOP VOTES TO IMPEACH TRUMP FOR INCITING INSURRECTION
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement after voting to impeach President Donald J. Trump for inciting an insurrection:
“Voting to impeach the President on the eve of a new Administration is unprecedented. But, the actions of President Trump, leading up to and on January 6th to overturn the results of the Presidential election and block the peaceful, constitutionally mandated transition of power is a clear and present danger to the people of the United States.
“For months, the President has lied—telling millions of people the election was stolen from him, the results are fraudulent, and that he won by a landslide. He claimed it illegitimate to accept the results as certified by state officials and upheld by state and federal courts. He threatened government officials to ‘find’ lost votes or face prosecution. He instructed Vice President Pence to illegally overturn the results and urged his supporters to come to Washington, DC on January 6th—the day the Constitution requires Congress to count electoral votes.
“On January 6th, President Trump addressed thousands of angry supporters at a rally near the White House, telling them, ‘if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore’ and to ‘walk down Pennsylvania Avenue’ to prevent Congress from confirming the election of an ‘illegitimate’ President. President Trump intentionally incited a violent attack by his supporters, including domestic terrorists, white nationalists, anarchists, and an angry mob of thousands, threatening the safety and lives of the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the President pro tempore of the Senate—the first three individuals in the line of succession to the presidency. These terrorists attacked law enforcement officers; unleashed chaos and terror among Members, staff, and their families; occupied the Senate chamber and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office; ransacked other offices; vandalized government property; and succeeded in interfering with Congress’ performance of its Constitutional duty to count electoral votes. Six people were killed, including two Capitol Police officers, and scores of officers were seriously wounded.
“As the picture of that day becomes clearer, the actions incited by President Trump become exponentially more alarming: gallows built on the lawn of the Capitol; terrorists chanting ‘hang Mike Pence’; terrorists beating a police officer with an American flag while he begged for his life; terrorists finding offices unknown to the general public, suggesting extensive planning in response to the President’s call to action in Washington, DC. These are only a few examples and I know we will learn more as we continue investigating.
“During the attack, after Congressional leadership was evacuated to a safe location, President Trump rejected multiple requests for help from the Speaker and Senate Minority Leader. Instead, he sent a video message to people who were prepared to take hostages and perhaps execute anyone who got in their way—including Members of Congress—where he repeated the lie that the election was stolen and even told them, ‘we love you, you’re very special.’ The President has shown no contrition to date and has only doubled down on lying about the election and claims his words were ‘totally appropriate.’
“Concerns that this impeachment will only further divide our nation ring hollow. It is not the cause of the divide in our country. The President and craven politicians continually lying to his supporters is divisive. Bigotry and authoritarianism are divisive. Holding the President accountable for his treasonous actions is not the problem—his actions are the problem.
“Concerns this impeachment is unnecessary and will work against ‘unity’ because the President will leave office in a few days also ring hollow. Make no mistake—every day he remains in the Oval Office is a clear and present danger to the United States. He has shown he is willing to incite violence to keep his power and he should not have another day to use it. There are reports that other right-wing militants are planning to attack all 50 state capitols and Washington, DC in support of President Trump and in opposition to the inauguration of President-elect Biden. The fires President Trump has set in this nation will remain and cannot be extinguished with appeasement. There can be no unity with people who conspire to overthrow the United States government. The 14th Amendment prohibits an officer of the United States who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion’ from ‘holding any office . . . under the United States.’ President Trump has engaged in insurrection and has repeatedly said this is only the beginning. He must be removed.”