Originally published at Common Dreams
As Washington, D.C. and the nation reeled from Wednesday’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Ilhan Omar announced she is preparing new articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, whose blatant lies about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election incited the MAGA mob to commit what many observers are calling a domestic terrorist attack.
“Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office by the United States Senate,” tweeted Omar (D-Minn.). “We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our republic and we need to fulfill our oath.”
“Today, I watched as armed terrorists stormed the United States Capitol, including the House and Senate chambers, in an effort to stop the certification of our presidential election,” Omar added in a statement. “Members of Congress, our families, staff, and law enforcement’s lives were all put at risk. We should not mince words about what this was: a coup attempt, in the world’s leading democracy no less.”
Numerous elected officials, advocacy groups, and countless outside observers joined in a chorus of condemnation and calls for the impeachment, resignation, or even arrest of the president. Not all of them were Democrats.
Others urged Trump’s Cabinet to use the 25th Amendment—which allows for the dismissal of a president who is incapacitated, or unable or unwilling to perform their duties—to remove him from office. A group of at least 19 House Democrats on Wednesday evening sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence to “emphatically urge” him to invoke the constitutional remedy.
“The world watched aghast as insurrectionists, who had been egged on by the president, threatened the safety of elected officials and staff and destroyed public property as they stormed and occupied both the House and Senate chambers bringing our democracy to a halt,” the letter stated. “At one point, the insurrectionists even removed an American flag… and replaced it with a Trump flag.”
Still others called for an all-of-the-above approach. Robert Weissman, president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, argued that Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet “should immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.”
“The House of Representatives should act immediately to impeach him, with the Senate voting to convict,” added Weissman. “Once removed, Trump should be criminally prosecuted.”
Like Omar, newly sworn-in Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) took action to back her words, announcing that she will introduce a resolution calling for the expulsion of her GOP congressional colleagues who she accused of inciting Wednesday’s violence. The measure was backed by at least one other lawmaker, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.).
Wednesday’s trouble began when thousands of Trump supporters gathered on the National Mall to hear the president deliver an inflammatory, lie-laden address claiming the presidential election was “stolen.”
“We will never give up,” Trump vowed. “We will never concede. It will never happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.”
Rally-goers then heeded the president’s exhortation to march on the Capitol—where lawmakers from both chambers were convening to count the Electoral College votes and certify President-elect Joe Biden’s presidential election victory—and “give our Republicans… the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” Over 150 Republican lawmakers were in the process of contesting the legitimate election results when the chaos erupted.
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump said to robust applause. “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
Inflamed with delusions of an injustice that wasn’t, hundreds of jilted Trumpists proceeded to storm the Capitol. They scaled walls, smashed windows, and poured into the legislature’s hallowed halls, sending terrorized lawmakers and staff scrambling for the safety of the Capitol’s hidden nooks and tunnels. Nearby buildings and homes on Capitol Hill were placed on lockdown or evacuated.
Some of the MAGA marauders were clad in actual barbarian attire, and surreal snapshots of the invaders striding triumphantly onto the Senate dais or dangling from the gallery rails will feature prominently on the front pages of Thursday’s newspapers and in history books yet unwritten.
Throughout the attack, security forces exercised a remarkable restraint that had many observers wondering what the outcome would have been had the perpetrators been Black Lives Matter or Antifa instead of the “American patriots” that first daughter Ivanka Trump claimed they were.
For over an hour the Trump die-hards had the run of the place. They rampaged and rummaged their way through Congress, stopping to pause for photos of looted plunder, from pens to podiums. One woman’s crusade to “take back the country” came to a fatal finish when she was shot through the neck and mortally wounded during the invasion.
Police eventually restored order—and some were seen joking and posing for selfies with the attackers—but the mob could savor the pyrrhic victory, however fleeting, of bringing the election certification to a grinding halt. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would later announce that the Electoral College vote tally would resume Wednesday night, and it did, as National Guard troops were deployed to ensure the domestic tranquility that had been shattered by the day’s tumultuous events.
As for Trump, he clung to his defiant delusion. In the immediate aftermath of the Capitol siege he told loyalists: “I know your pain, I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side.”
“We love you, you’re all very special,” he added. Later—before his account wastemporarily suspended—Trump tweeted that “these are the things and events that happen when a sacred election landslide victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots.”
As Capitol Hill returned to some sense of normalcy, Omar took stock of the day’s events, and what comes next.
“Thankfully, I am now safe in a secure location, but am heartbroken about what we are enduring at our nation’s capital,” she wrote. “This is not a one-off incident. It is the result of years of collaboration on the part of the Republican Party, who have aided and abetted Trump’s criminal attempts to destroy our republic, and the cause of democracy around the world.”
“All leaders should denounce this coup,” she asserted. “And the president should be impeached and removed from office for his open sedition.”