Rep. Judy Chu (D—CA) called for President Donald Trump’s removal from office as the House began debates surrounding a second impeachment, saying: “This time the terrorists were radicalised right here in the United States. Worse, they were radicalised by the president.”
The California Democrat made the statements in an opening speech on Wednesday, describing how she and her aides were forced to hide as the president’s extremist supporters stormed the building last week, carrying weapons and confederate flags while donning Trump campaign gear.
“Last week, I hid in an office for hours, terrified to open the door because I did not know if a rioter was on the other side ready to attack, kidnap, or murder me,” she said. “Donald Trump must be held accountable.”
She went on to say the president “intentionally lied to his supporters that the election was stolen, and then told them when to come to D.C., where to protest and who to direct their anger at,” referring to the speech Mr Trump delivered just before the Capitol riots.
She added: “The need to remove this president could not be more urgent.”
Numerous Democratic lawmakers described the pro-Trump mob as a group of domestic terrorists attempting an insurrection in support of the president and his false claims of a rigged election.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D—TX) called Mr Trump “an insurrectionist” in her opening statement, while Rep. Ilhan Omar (D—MN) called him a “tyrant” who “led a rebellion”. “For us to survive as a functioning democracy, there must be accountability,” she added while calling for his impeachment.
The Democratic-controlled House was set to impeach the president for a second time — the first time any American president has been impeached twice during their tenure in the White House — with a four-page resolution citing his own incendiary rhetoric.
It remained unclear whether the Senate would move to vote on his impeachment, with The New York Times reporting on Tuesday night that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was “pleased” with Democrats moving to impeach Mr Trump a second time.