WASHINGTON – Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) introduced an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Jan. 11.
The impeachment resolution is sponsored by Cicilline, with Lieu and Raskin serving as the two lead co-sponsors. It is also co-sponsored by another 211 members of the House.
The article of impeachment charges the outgoing president with a count of “incitement of insurrection” for his actions on Jan. 6, when he delivered a speech inciting his supporters to lay siege to the U.S. Capitol, an action that temporarily halted the counting of Electoral College votes and resulted in the deaths of five individuals, including an officer of the U.S. Capitol Police.
“Last Wednesday marked one of the darkest days in the history of our country. After months of agitation and propaganda against the results of the 2020 election, the United States Capitol – the citadel of our democracy – was attacked as President Trump’s supporters attempted to stage a coup and overturn the results of our free and fair presidential election,” said the members, who serve together on the House Judiciary Committee.
“We cannot allow this unprecedented provocation to go unanswered. Everyone involved in this assault must be held accountable, beginning with the man most responsible for it – President Donald Trump. We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies – foreign and domestic.”
On Jan. 9, Lieu and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the New York State Bar Association requesting an investigation into Rudy Giuliani and his involvement in the siege of the Capitol. The letter reads, in part:
“As members of Congress and attorneys – one of us a former prosecutor, the other a Department of Justice alumnus – we have long been appalled by the statements and actions of the president’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani. It is inconceivable to us that Mr. Giuliani remains in good standing with the New York State Bar Association after engaging in activities that would see any other ordinary lawyer summarily thrown out of the profession.
“He is reportedly the subject of at least two federal investigations, one by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York for his business dealings in Ukraine, and an FBI counterintelligence investigation for his political work; he attempted to subvert the 2020 election by seeking foreign campaign assistance in violation of U.S. election law; and most recently, he incited a riot leading to multiple deaths at the United States Capitol.
“We request that your office open an immediate investigation into the president’s attorney for his statements calling for a ‘trial by combat’ preceding a violent insurrection at the Capitol in which … members of Congress and the vice president were credibly threatened with violence. We believe the actions of Mr. Giuliani disqualify him from being a member in good standing with the New York State Bar.”
On Jan. 8, Lieu, along with Reps. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Salinas), urged Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller to take measures to prevent Trump from misusing or abusing his nuclear strike authority in the final days of his presidency. The letter reads, in part:
“As members of Congress who served in the military, we are writing to request that you and your combatant commanders consider ways to provide a check and balance on the president’s nuclear strike authority in the final days of his presidency.
“There is precedent for such action. In August 1974, as President Richard Nixon prepared to leave office, then-Defense Secretary James Schlesinger issued orders requiring that military commanders check with either him or then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger before executing any nuclear launch order by the president. Donald Trump is detached from reality, angry and acting out. To safeguard our country from potential catastrophe, similar steps to those taken in August 1974 need to be taken now.
“In his refusal to concede the election to President-elect Biden, President Trump is actively and relentlessly subverting our electoral system and challenging the legitimacy of our Constitution. The president has also proven that he is ready to place his political goals above all else, even if that means politicizing our military, as he did on Lafayette Square this past July. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did the right thing in the aftermath of that photo-op by admitting that no military officer should have been present …
“In the coming days, as Trump’s options for remaining in the White House all but disappear, there is a real danger that the president could turn to military action at home or abroad. We are well-aware that in ordinary times, your role is to execute the president’s orders. Unfortunately, we do not live in ordinary times. We believe that critical moments, like that we face today, require us to think of every possible avenue to avert disaster.”