Why I will Vote to Impeach the President for his Role in the Assault on the Capitol

Later this week, I will support bringing an article for the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump directly to the House floor, and I will vote to impeach the president for the incitement of insurrection, an act which clearly meets the threshold of a ‘high crime or misdemeanor’ set forth by the Framers. I do this without reservation, as I have no question or doubt about the president’s conduct and responsibility for last week’s assault upon the United States Capitol and the United States Congress.

For the past two months, without any factual basis, the president has misled his supporters with claims that the election was stolen. The president’s claims — ranging from accusations of massive voter fraud to questions about the legality of states’ actions in administering their elections — have been rejected by courts across the country at nearly every level of our judicial system. These claims have been rejected not once, not twice, but over 60 times.

Opinions on these lawsuits issued by judges appointed by both Democrats and Republicans, including by President Trump himself, have discounted the president’s claims of fraudulent activity or illegal state actions as ‘bizarre,’ having ‘no basis in fact or in law,’ and as ‘strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence.’

To be clear, the 2020 election was both free and fair, and its results are fully legitimate. In claiming otherwise, the president, members of his cabinet and administration, and some members of Congress have knowingly lied to the American public.

As dishonorable as these public officials’ lies have been, the president’s actions on Wednesday, January 6 were even more vile, and they cannot go unanswered by Congress. In addressing thousands of supporters gathered outside the White House that day, with the power and authority that comes with the office of the President of the United States, Donald Trump incited Wednesday’s insurrection against a coequal branch of the United States government; with his failure to act immediately to bring them under control, he offered them aid; and by telling them in the midst of insurrection, ‘We love you, you’re very special,’ and by continuing to insist the election was stolen, he offered them comfort.

By no means does this statement provide an exhaustive list of the president’s misconduct over these past two months and the responsibility that he bears for this national tragedy, but in the history of our country, I do not believe there has ever been a clearer case for the immediate impeachment of a president, as well as for his removal from office and disqualification from holding future public office.

The text of the article of impeachment I cosponsored can be found here.

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Congressman Jared Golden

Jared Golden represents Maine’s 2nd District in the U.S. Congress. He serves on the House Small Business Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.