Six House Republicans Tuesday introduced a censure resolution accusing President Trump of violating his oath of office by attempting to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 election and by sparking a riot at the Capitol with his continued lies about the election.
The censure resolution affirms that President-elect Joe Biden won the election and says Trump “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government.”
The GOP effort — led by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Tom Reed of New York– is seen as a middle ground offer by the GOP to call out Trump’s behavior while stopping short of an impeachment trial that could further fracture the country.
The resolution’s authors blasted Trump for repeating lies that he won the election and interfering with a peaceful transfer of power. They blamed Trump for whipping up the mob that breached the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement and engaged in “destructive and seditious acts.”
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“President Trump’s attempts to undermine the outcome of the 2020 election have been unconscionable,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “The combination of a false information campaign coupled with inflammatory rhetoric led to the devastation that I was a personal witness to on the House Floor on January 6th. His actions threatened the integrity of our democracy, Congress, and his own Vice President.”
Reed has said a rushed impeachment that Democrats are backing will further divide the country, whereas a bipartisan censure resolution could be a bridge to move forward in unity.
“This is an important step to hold the president accountable,” Reed said in a statement. “Congress must make clear that it rejects extremism and condemns the president’s actions.”
Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington D.C. already introduced a censure resolution saying it’s the only viable option that can pass both chambers of Congress and not hold up Biden’s work.
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But the House Democratic leadership is intent on moving forward with impeachment, saying Trump is too dangerous to keep in office a day longer and he must suffer the consequence of being barred from holding office ever again if convicted in the Senate.
Unlike their first attempted impeachment of Trump, Democrats are bolstered by some early bipartisan supporters. Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said Tuesday she’d vote to impeach because the violent attack at the Capitol could not have happened without Trump.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney, who is from Wyoming. “Everything that followed was his doing.”
Her stance is a split with GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is open to censure.
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The three-page censure resolution calls for “censuring and condemning President Donald J. Trump for trying to unlawfully overturn the 2020 Presidential election and violating his oath of office on January 6, 2021.”
It says Trump “repeatedly issued false statements” about widespread fraud in the election, and when he spoke before supporters in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, he made more claims that “encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol.”
The resolution also condemns Trump’s phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ‘‘find’’ enough votes to overturn the Georgia election results and “threatened Secretary Raffensperger if he failed to do so.”
“Trump has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law,” the resolution states.
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In addition to Fitzpatrick and Reed, the GOP sponsors of the resolution are Reps. Young Kim of California, Fred Upton of Michigan, Peter Meijer of Michigan and John Curtis of Utah.
“I believe censuring the president after his actions helps hold him accountable and could garner wide bipartisan support,” Kim said, “allowing the House to remain united during some of our nation’s darkest days.”