The Democrat-controlled House on Wednesday voted to impeach the president on charges of incitement of insurrection relating to the attack on the Capitol last week. It is the first time in history a president has been impeached twice.
The 232-197 vote to impeach the president followed hours of debate on the House floor about the president’s role in inspiring and inciting a mob of pro-Trump extremists to break into the Capitol to prevent the electoral college count.
All congressional Democrats from Texas voted to impeach the president.
Among the first to speak was Houston Congressman Al Green. Green has repeatedly introduced or co-sponsored impeachment resolutions throughout Trump’s presidency. He has typically introduced such bills with a fiery gusto, but Green was in a much more somber mood and on the verge of tears this morning when he joined the debate.
“No one is celebrating. No one wants to see this occur,” Green said. “Those members on the other side, this is something that they understand and take seriously.”
Austin area Rep. Lloyd Doggett spoke shortly after, attacking the president for making a desperate attempt to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.
“Like his deadly reaction to the pandemic, he totally bungled the deadly attack,” Doggett said. “Both his frenzied, riotous mob and his congressional enablers were defeated.”
“America, we did stop the steal,” he continued. “We stopped Donald Trump from stealing our democracy and imposing himself as a tyrant.”
Louie Gohmert, a right-wing Republican from East Texas and a loyal ally to Trump was the next Texan to speak next. He complained that Democrats were setting a dangerous precedent for attempting to impeach the president so many times.
“You’re using this as a weapon and you’re destroying this little experiment in self-government,” Gohmert said. Gohmert was one of more than a dozen Texas Republicans who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s win last week.
Rep. Joaquín Castro of San Antonio, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and one of eight impeachment managers named by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this morning, tore into the president and called him the most dangerous man ever to occupy the White House.
“What do you think they would have done if they had gotten in?” Castro asked the chamber of the mob. “What do you think they would have done to you? And who do you think sent them here?”
In her speech on the House floor, Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso said last week’s events were a terrorist attack, an attempted coup, and insurrection.
“Those who came and participated must be found and prosecuted,” Escobar said. “Those who aided and abetted must be found and prosecuted. And the man who incited it, Donald J. Trump, our greatest national security threat, must be impeached and never be allowed to hold office again.”
Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Houston said Trump abused the power of his office and broke his oath to protect the constitution.
“During the last impeachment trial, I reminded all Americans that democracy is a gift that each generation gives to the next,” Garcia said. “We must do all to protect it for our children and our future, we must impeach him.”
Rep. Chip Roy, one of only six Texas Republicans in Congress to vote to certify Biden’s wins, criticized Trump for what he said was “impeachable conduct,” but said the language of the articles of impeachment would have consequences for open speech in Congress and the public square.
“The president of the United States deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly, in my opinion, impeachable conduct, pressuring the vice president to violate his oath to the constitution to count the electors,” Roy said.
“Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues drafted articles that I believe are flawed and unsupportable,” he said of the charges of incitement of insurrection.
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher of Houston said she opposed Republican gaslighting masquerading as debate in the chamber.
“I was in this chamber when the president assembled and unleashed a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Congress, the elected representatives of the people,” Fletcher said. “By doing so, he incited an insurrection against our representative democracy itself. If that is not an impeachable offense, then what is?”
Reps. Marc Veasey of Dallas and Shelia Jackson Lee of Houston were the last two Texan Democrats to speak on the floor prior to the vote.
Veasey said that if the situation were reserved and a Democratic president had inspired an attack on the Capitol, Democrats in Congress would join Republicans in impeaching them.
“Because guess what, I don’t care about no base,” Veasey said. “I care about this democracy and this country and what happened the other day should never happen again.”
Lee spoke immediately after, calling Trump the “insurrectionist in chief.”
“We must hold him accountable, we can heal this nation, but he must be impeached today,” Lee said.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org