Congressional Black Caucus members made some of the fiercest statements in support of impeaching Donald Trump during debate on the House floor Wednesday afternoon. Showing little to no concern for rules of decorum or a false pretense of respectability, Black representatives took clear aim at the outgoing president for his incitement
Many of the representatives who spoke clearly named Trump’s incitement of white nationalist violence as being at the heart of the attack on democracy as an institution and their own lives.
California Rep. Maxine Waters refused to let Republicans off the hook, calling them the Trump Party. Aunty Maxine kept it tight and did not mince words.
“I rise in support of impeaching again the worst president in the history of the United States. Since his first day in office, this president has spent four years abusing his power, lying, embracing authoritarianism, radicalizing his supporters, inciting them to willingly join with white supremacists, neo Nazis and paramilitary extremists in a siege of the United States Capitol building, the very seat of American democracy. The Republican Party is now the Trump Party. And I want you to know that this is a Trump power grab that will not stop; it will not stop with attacking the Capitol and our state legislatures,” Waters said. “This president intends to exercise power long after he is out of office. It is reported that the president of the United States watched the invasion from the Oval Office of our capital and seemingly enjoyed it. I want you to know we should be concerned that the Republicans will not defend him and he is capable of starting a civil war. He must be impeached. He must be stopped now!”
Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee struck a similar tone in her remarks, calling Trump an insurrectionist.
“He led an insurrection against the United States of America,” Jackson Lee said. She continued by pointing out the words used to incite those who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“The president provoked these domestic terrorists with words, with actions, and conduct that portrays and have contempt and have hostility to the national value of equal justice under the law, telling domestic terrorists, nearly all of them were white supremacists, many of them who support him politically, who stormed the capitol to derail Congress from completing its constitutionally required duty of counting and verifying the vote,” Jackson Lee added.
In closing remarks ahead of the vote, Jackson Lee said the nation can be healed but Trump must be held accountable and impeached.
In true Oakland fashion, California Rep. Barbara Lee laid it out plain and in no uncertain terms.
“On January 6, Donald Trump incited his white nationalist supporters to initiate an attempted coup against the heart of our democracy, the United States Capitol. This heinous act of domestic terrorism demands that congress act to remove this president,” Lee implored. “Donald Trump has been and remains a threat to our national security and our democracy and wholly unfit to serve as president. He and his supporters must be held accountable for inciting violence against the government of the United States. Congress must act immediately to remove this clear and present danger to our country. It’s time to impeach Donald Trump again!”
New York Rep. Gregory Meeks said insurrectionists did not come out of a vacuum. He challenged his colleagues to take action as the world is watching.
“We must show them no one will rule this country and be above the law,” Meeks said. “The cameras of history are rolling.”
Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore raised concern about what Trump could do with the remaining days in office.
“Even though it is only seven days before the end of his term, we have the fierce urgency of now,” Moore said. “Seven days is too long for him to be in power. He could declassify state secrets. He could monetize national secrets to foreign adversaries. And he could even pardon the person who killed our U.S. Capitol Police Officer.”
“I did not come to Congress to impeach Donald Trump,” Jeffries said. “But the constitutional crime by an out of control president inspired by his hatred and the big lie that he told cannot be ignored.” Jeffries called “Donald Trump is a living, breathing, impeachable offense. It is what it is. The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was an act of insurrection incited by Donald Trump. He is a clear and present danger to the health, safety and well-being of the American people and that is why this impeachment is necessary on the House floor for a second time with a bipartisan majority. Violence will not win. Insurrection will not win. Sedition will not win. Terror will not win. Lawlessness will not win. Mob rule will not win. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Democracy will prevail.”
Newly elected Missouri Rep. Cori Bush challenged Congress as a whole in her remarks.
“The 117th Congress must understand we have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives,” said Bush. “The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy starting with impeaching the white supremacist in chief.”
Calling the attack on the Capitol a “targeted blow,” Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar all but echoed many of her colleagues calling out the intentional incitement of violence by the outgoing president.
“For years we have been asked to turn a blind eye to the criminality, corruption and blatant disregard to the rule of law by the tyrant president we have in the white house,” said Omar. “The president not only incited an insurrection against our government but has in word and deed led a rebellion. We cannot simply move past this or turn the page. For us to be able to survive as a functioning democracy, there has to be accountability. we must impeach and remove this president from the office immediately so that he cannot be a threat to our democracy.”
South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn cited the importance of following the clear instructions laid out by the constitution. He said democracy depends in part on candidates accepting the outcomes of elections.
“This president’s refusal to participate in the peaceful transfer of power and his role in inciting last week’s violence is a threat to our constitution and democracy,” Clyburn stated. “This threat must be extinguished immediately. This president must be impeached and convicted. And he must be prevented from ever attempting to seize power again.”