Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler confirmed her testimony that former President Trump is guilty of the impeachment charge of inciting the January 6th riot, she said in a new statement.
In a tweet, Beutler confirmed the series of events she witnessed on the day of the riots and the president’s live response to hearing the reports of the violence.
“In my January 12 statement in support of the article of impeachment, I referenced a conversation House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy relayed to me that he’d had with President Trump while the January 6 attack was ongoing. Here are the details,” she said in the tweet, recalling what she witnessed.
“When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol. McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’”
The Congresswoman said she has told many people about the comments in both public and private forums: “Since I publicly announced my decision to vote for impeachment, I have shared these details in countless conversations with constituents and colleagues, and multiple times through the media and other public forums.
— Jaime Herrera Beutler (@HerreraBeutler) February 13, 2021
In an interview with the Daily Chronicle, Beutler described the language Trump used as incendiary, saying it is “as impeachable as it gets,” and described it as a contributing factor to the riots.
“Leading up to the speech there were certainly calls for violence. There were calls to overthrow the process,” Beutler said via the report. “The president himself said things like ‘we’re never going to give up, we’ll never concede, it doesn’t happen, you don’t concede when theft’s involved.’”
In the coming weeks following the Capitol Hill riots, where 5 people were killed, House Democrats led an effort to impeach the president. The ensuing vote, which passed 232 to 197, resulted in Trump becoming the only president in U.S. history to be impeached a second time.
Beutler joined her Democratic colleagues in that vote, laying the blame for the historic riot at the feet of the president.
“The President of the United States incited a riot aiming to halt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. That riot led to five deaths,” she said in a statement.
“People everywhere watched in disbelief as the center of American democracy was assaulted. The violent mob bludgeoned to death a Capitol police officer as they defaced symbols of our freedom. These terrorists roamed the Capitol, hunting the Vice President and the Speaker of the House,” the Washington Republican added.
Beutler continued: “Hours went by before the President did anything meaningful to stop the attack. Instead, he and his lawyer were busy making calls to senators who were still in lockdown, seeking their support to further delay the Electoral College certification. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy describes pleading with the President to go on television and call for an end to the mayhem, to no avail.”
The congresswoman also pointed to Trump’s own disregard for Vice President Mike Pence, with whom he clashed with in the weeks before the riots.
“The President attacked Vice President Mike Pence on Twitter while Pence was in a secure room having fled from the mob that had breached the Senate floor threatening to hang him. Finally, the President released a pathetic denouncement of the violence that also served as a wink and a nod to those who perpetrated it: ‘I love you,’ he said to them, ‘you are special,'” she said. “More hours of destruction and violence ensued before law enforcement officials were finally able to clear the Capitol.”
According to Beutler, this evidence was enough to impeach Trump.
“The President’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have. I understand the argument that the best course is not to further inflame the country or alienate Republican voters. But I am also a Republican voter. I believe in our Constitution, individual liberty, free markets, charity, life, justice, peace and this exceptional country. I see that my own party will be best served when those among us choose truth,” she concluded.
“I believe President Trump acted against his oath of office, so I will vote to impeach him,” she said just ahead of the House vote to impeach Trump.