WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D–Md.) issued the following statement following the conclusion of the trial for Donald Trump, who was impeached while in office by the House of Representatives for incitement of insurrection.
The article of impeachment reads:
“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
Video of Senator Cardin’s floor statement can be found here.
“President Trump stands alone as the only American president to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives because he is the only sitting American president in our 244-year history who incited a violent insurrection against our own government. President Trump’s second impeachment was the most bipartisan impeachment in American history, as was the conviction vote by several members of the President’s party. The facts and the record are clear that Donald Trump violated his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
“Many months before the election, President Trump laid the groundwork of refusing to accept the results of the 2020 election, even if he lost. January 6 was not an isolated, unforeseen, or surprising result, given the President’s systematic rhetoric, campaign, and deliberate and premediated actions to undermine American election results and jeopardize a peaceful transfer of power.
“Rather than taking care to faithfully execute the laws as the Constitution demands, President Trump conducted an unprecedented pressure and extortion campaign to convince state and local officials to disregard their oaths to uphold their state laws and constitutions, as well as the federal constitution. He pressured and bullied all he could to try to disenfranchise the voters of their state who voted to choose Vice President Biden and turn President Trump out of office. His lies about the election and bullying continues to this day.
“And what did President Trump do when the whole world was watching the violent insurrection at the Capitol on January 6? What did President Trump do as he watched the mob desecrate our seat of government, resulting in the destruction of property and loss of life, which could have been much worse if the angry lynch mob had gotten their hands on either Members of Congress, Vice President Pence, or staff or officials working for those members?
“The President did nothing. He completely abdicated his responsibility as Commander in Chief and his constitutional oaths to faithfully execute the duties of his office, and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. He actually made matters worse by not condemning the violence, not asking the rioters to stop trespassing and committing acts of violence and destruction, and not asking the mob he summoned to peacefully leave the Capitol. He ignored the pleas of even Republican leaders for help and he never disavowed himself from the mob and rioters after having knowledge of the immediate danger in the Capitol. He put himself before the nation, before his responsibilities as president of the United States. He put his own self-interest above his responsibilities under the Constitution of the United States and to the people of this nation.
“The bravery of many Capitol Police and DC Metropolitan Police Officers that day undoubtedly saved many lives, and some of our officers paid the highest price for their service, and died in the line of duty. Donald J. Trump, then-president of the United States, did nothing.
“Senators have a grave responsibility when it comes to the power of impeachment, particularly when it involves the President of the United States. This is a very profound responsibility, in which Senators have to do what is right for our country. Indeed, Senators take a special oath at an impeachment trial to do ‘impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws’ of the United States.
“The purpose of impeachment is not just the accountability for the president, but also to protect our Constitution –to make sure this conduct never happens again. No one is above the law, including the president of the United States. Everyone who was responsible for the insurrection that occurred on January 6 should be held accountable, from those who broke into the Capitol and caused the harm and damage to the president of the United States, who incited the violence. That’s why I voted to convict President Trump of the articles of impeachment for inciting an insurrection. And that’s why I would have voted to disqualify him from ever holding an office of trust again.”