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Florida leaders react to President Donald Trump’s second impeachment

Trump accused of inciting Capitol riot

House majority votes for impeachment
House majority votes for impeachment

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached for a second time after the House voted that he should be held accountable for inciting a mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The vote was 232-197 for Trump to face a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.” His term is set to end on Jan. 20, which is when President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated.

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Those who voted in favor believed that Trump should have known a crowd of his supports could turn violent after he told them to “fight like hell” as he insisted that he would have won the election if it weren’t for voter fraud, a claim that has been debunked.

Hours after that speech, rioters stormed the Capitol, pushing through police to make their way inside as Congress was set to certify the Electoral College votes. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result.

As news spread Wednesday afternoon of the second impeachment, leaders across Florida, including those who were involved in the vote, reacted swiftly.

Read their statements below, presented in no particular order:

Rep. Michael Waltz

Rep. Val Demings

“I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy and staying safe.

“Today I voted to impeach the president for his role in inciting last week’s violent insurrection in Washington, D.C.

“I love our country. Our democracy is the foundation that sustains everything from our personal safety to our opportunities for a better life. Without our democracy, we are not safe or free. Protecting our democracy—and the opportunities and security that it provides—is a sacred obligation.

“Last week, attackers incited by President Trump wounded dozens of Capitol Police officers and killed one while trying to overturn our democracy. My thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Sicknick’s family. The attackers also sought to ‘capture’ the Vice President and other elected representatives.

“The attackers, inspired by lies about the election, were attempting to stop the peaceful transition of power which our country has honored and carried out for nearly 250 years. They failed.

“But we cannot simply move on because they failed. The president and others incited this mob to a violent attempt to overturn our democracy. Their statements about the election were false, dangerous and reckless. Dozens of lawsuits by the president to overturn the election have failed for lack of evidence. The Department of Homeland Security has said that this was the most secure election in American history. Many people warned that the president’s lies would lead to violence, yet those warnings were ignored.

“In times of danger, Americans have always come together to do what was right. We must heal and unify our nation. Healing requires justice. Unity requires accountability.

“I pray that our country will come together in this tough time to stand once again for democracy and truth, to heal and restore our nation, and to pursue the important work of ensuring a safe and prosperous future for every American.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve and represent you. Please continue to care for one another and stay safe. I know that we can get through this together.”

Rep. Stephanie Murphy

To view her video statement, click here. A full transcript of her remarks can be found below.

“Hello everyone.

“I’m speaking to you today with a heavy heart. But also with a sense of resolve.

“That’s because I voted to impeach the President of the United States.

“Many of you know my story. When I was a child, my family fled a communist dictatorship in Vietnam. We were rescued by the U.S. Navy and given refuge in America. This country saved our lives and gave us a new beginning.

“That’s why last week’s attack broke my heart.

“A violent mob assaulted the U.S. Capitol. They defiled our democracy. They murdered a police officer. And they tried to destroy everything that is good and right and honorable about America.

“The mob was incited by the President based on an absolute lie—the complete fiction that the 2020 election was not free and fair.

“This, to me, is an impeachable offense.

“Let me be clear: Today’s impeachment is not about dividing this country. It’s about uniting all patriotic Americans against the unconstitutional actions of an out-of-control president—a president who incited insurrection against our great nation.

“You know, I’m proud both Democrats and Republicans voted to hold the President accountable for his actions. We voted to fulfill our constitutional, moral, and patriotic obligation to safeguard our democracy.

“This is a dark chapter in America—and healing will take time.

“I, for one, will never let terrorists extinguish America’s light as the shining city on a hill; the beacon of hope, liberty, and peace for the world.

“I’m hopeful that tomorrow will be a brighter day, and I’ll never stop fighting for the country I love.”

Rep. Bill Posey

“Impeaching the president only serves to further divide this nation by fanning the flames of partisanship. Congress could have taken the high road, but instead it has chosen to take the low one. President Trump’s administration began with one-in-three Congressional Democrats boycotting his inauguration, the founding of the ‘resist’ movement, the now debunked Russian collusion narrative and undermining the administration at every turn. Now in the last hours of this administration, Speaker Pelosi has chosen to bring an expedited impeachment resolution the House floor that has no chance of going anywhere in the U.S. Senate all the while calling for bipartisanship.”

“We have all condemned the violence that happened during last week’s demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol. There is no place for it, and I am demanding full accountability for the those who engaged in such actions. Rather than seeking healing, this impeachment effort reeks of revenge that may satisfy a political appetite but will only serve to make healing more difficult in the days and weeks ahead as a new President, Joe Biden, is inaugurated.”

Click here to view his speech on the House floor.

Rep. Darren Soto


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