WASHINGTON (WPRI) — The U.S. House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time, and it’s something Rep. David Cicilline has been waiting for since he was forced to hide in his office during last week’s violent attack on the Capitol.
“Hundreds of domestic terrorists stormed the citadel of our democracy in an attempt to stop the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next,” he wrote in a statement following the vote. “They have failed.”
Cicilline, who has led the charge to remove Trump from office, said “a strong, bipartisan majority of the U.S. House took the first step towards holding the president accountable for leading this failed coup.”
“Make no mistake, we have upheld our responsibility to protect the United States from all enemies, both foreign and domestic,” he continued. “Our republic is stronger today than it was one week ago.”
Rep. Jim Langevin voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment, saying he must be held accountable.
“With his actions and rhetoric, Trump threatened our Constitution,” Langevin said. “This is yet another solemn day for America, but this is the necessary course of action on the heels of President Trump’s reprehensible behavior, which is contrary to honesty, integrity and the American way.”
Trump is the only president to be impeached twice by the U.S. House.
The earliest the U.S. Senate can start an impeachment trial is next Tuesday, the day before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated. If convicted by the Senate, Trump would be barred from running again in future presidential elections.
Cicilline was one of nine lawmakers tapped to manage the impeachment trial in the Senate.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to begin the impeachment trial immediately.
“The House has spoken,” Whitehouse said. “President Trump incited an angry mob, including trained and armed militia members, to storm our citadel of democracy. For that, he must go. Bring us back now, Senator McConnell, and let us cast him out.”
Sen. Jack Reed said the impeachment trial, once it begins, will be “a transparent and deliberate process.”
“I will do my part to uphold the law and defend the nation and the Constitution from all threats both foreign and domestic,” he said.
He also noted that, Trump’s hostility “has caused thousands of U.S. National Guardsman to be deployed to the U.S. Capitol Building, ready to defend it if a second siege is attempted.”
“Trump’s disregard for our democracy has caused law enforcement in all fifty states to be put on high alert for further acts of violent insurrection by white nationalists and extremists,” Reed said.