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Local legislators safe after Capitol Riot

Rioters broke into the Capitol building while a joint session of Congress was taking place, to certify Joe Biden as president elect. Congresspersons and others in the room took shelter behind the seats, before they were evacuated to a safe room away from the intruders. ABOVE, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee crouches behind the seats, until she can make her way to safety

Trump blamed; SJLee, AGreen seek impeachment

WASHINGTON, DC – Congress was in joint session last Wednesday, meeting to certify the Electoral College votes from state electors for the president and vice-president. Shortly after the session started, a large crowd of about 8,000 persons left a rally near the White House where President Trump was speaking, and assembled at the Capitol, breaking through barriers and storming into the building.

What followed was a deadly riot, where Congress members had to be taken to safe locations away from the destruction and assault of the mob of demonstrators. Our legislators, including Sheila Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia, and Al Green, were just some of the local representatives that were led to safety.

These supporters of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a protest aimed at thwarting the vote on certification of the electors and their votes, with the aim of stopping the peaceful transfer of power to the new administration.

Trump at Rally directed crowd to march to Capitol and be strong in opposing Electoral College certification.

At the nearby rally, President Trump had told the demonstrators to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” against a “stolen” election. As a result, hundreds of the mob members entered the building, fighting with Capitol police as they went. They broke windows, doors, signs, and furniture, and stole items throughout the building.

Capitol Police block doors to House Chamber with furniture, and point drawn guns at intruders. Fort Bend former sheriff Troy Nehls is in blue shirt.

In the ensuing fight with authorities, there were five deaths and hundreds injured. One demonstrator was fatally shot in the neck as she attempted to enter through a broken window, and the other deaths were medical emergencies from the fighting. One Capitol policeman died from the struggle; others were members of the mob.

Thousands of demonstrators formed a mob that broke through barriers, fought with police, and entered the Capitol building. They broke into offices and the House and Senate chambers, breaking windows, doors, signs, furniture, and stealing many office items. Besides carrying weapons, police later found two pipe bombs and many Molotov cocktail bombs in the possession of some of the mob. The mob included members of QAnon, Proud Boys, militia groups, elected officials, and organized ordinary protestors, according to authorities.

Later in the afternoon police were reinforced by members of the National Guard, who had been called by the White House after some delay, blamed on the President. In a statement during the insurrection, Trump issued a recorded message urging the mob to leave the building and return to their homes, but he added, “We love you.” The message also repeated the complaint that he lost the election fraudulently.

After order was restored in the Capitol building, the members of the House and Senate returned to their seats, and continued to vote on acceptance of the electors from each state. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia reported in a media interview that they finally adjourned at about 3:30 in the morning, having to debate the credentials from two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania which were finally approved as submitted. Members of Congress, including Democrats and Republicans, immediately called for demonstrators to be arrested and held accountable for their lawlessness.

Houston Congresspersons Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee are among the Representatives in Congress that are leading the move to impeach the President for his part in inciting the riots last week.

In addition, Congress and much of the nation blamed President Trump for his rhetoric, and for inciting the march on the Capitol with his speech just prior to the insurrection.

Many members of Congress, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and members of our local delegation, called for removal of Trump from office, either by impeachment of through the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which calls for the removal of the President if he is unfit to conduct the duties of his office.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was singled out as one of the instigators of the insurrection, with his anti-election rhetoric.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Al Green were especially vocal in their criticism of Trump. They also criticized some of their fellow Congressmen, including Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, for opposing the certification of the Electoral College votes and asking that they be thrown out.

Jackson Lee described the incursion as follows:

“But we were engaged in the constitutional process and the chambers were attacked,” Jackson Lee said.

She added that initially, some members began to flee while others, who couldn’t, waited until they were told to do so.

“The doors were locked. The doors were stampeded. The doors were jammed with furniture. Guns were drawn, shots were fired and we were on the ground. In the essence of the United States Capitol, the symbol of democracy, right before our very eyes, was not only attacked but it was an attempt to destroy. Glass breaking. Going into windows. This is a symbol of the United States of America. Putting flags of Donald Trump on historic statues. This was a horrible scene, because America represents, to the world, the greatest democracy ever. So frankly, what happened, plain and simple – attack. I think the other thing that was so distressing was that a young woman was shot right outside of the chambers. That young woman is dead. Blood lays at the feet of Donald J. Trump,” she said.

As a result of her experiences in the riot, Congresswoman Jackson Lee last Thursday introduced Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“At this moment in our history, our Constitutional forefathers are crying out for us to use the tools provided in this ageless document. Yesterday, we saw domestic enemies incite violence and invade the people’s house with the intent to harm. Enough is enough! The president has completely lost whatever moral authority he had and is unfit as Commander in Chief,” Jackson Lee said in a release.

In her Impeachment Articles, Jackson Lee claims Trump has continued to undermine the essential institutions and foundations of a democratic system of government in the United States. She also lists he has engaged in a long train of abuses and usurpations to make himself an authoritarian ruler unaccountable to, and independent of, the people of the United States.

Her charges include:

– Refusing to acknowledge Russian interference in the internal affairs of the United States, and then opposing responses by Congress and the Executive Branch to protect the national security and interests of the United States against future Russian interference and aggression.

– Refusing continuously to acknowledge to the American people that he would accept and be bound by the verdict rendered in the 2020 Presidential election, instead claiming that any outcome in which he was not declared the winner was fraudulent, rigged, and illegitimate.

– Instituting frivolous lawsuits to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election, falsely alleging wide-spread voting fraud but producing no evidence in support of his spurious allegations.

– Failing to take action to protect and defend Federal officers and personnel, property, buildings, and institutions on January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol that was besieged by supporters of Donald John Trump, resulting in extensive damage to the property of the United States and the deaths of at least four persons.

As well as Jackson Lee, another local Congressman has been calling for Trump’s Impeachment for the last 3 Congressional sessions.

On Thursday, January 7, 2021, Congressman Al Green released the following statement, indicating his co-leadership of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (MN-05) articles of impeachment as well as his original cosponsorship of Rep. David Cicilline’s (RI-01) articles of impeachment:

“Joined by over 100 different Members of Congress overall, I presented three sets of articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump in 2017, 2018, and 2019 because of several well-documented instances of his impeachable conduct. These efforts laid the foundation for the successful impeachment of our 45th President of the United States on December 18, 2019,” Congressman Al Green (TX-09) stated.

“The President’s more recent rhetoric and actions have been harmful – including his request of Georgia’s Secretary of State to unlawfully overturn the 2020 presidential election results as well as his seditious incitement of insurrection at our nation’s Capital during the Joint Session to count electoral votes.”

“Bearing all this in mind, I am proud to co-lead Rep. Omar’s articles of impeachment and co-sponsor Rep. Cicilline’s articles of impeachment, because I support impeachment for impeachable offenses.”

Congressman Green added, “For the past four years, it has been perspicuously clear that President Trump is unfit to be president and has engaged in impeachable behavior. Some may deem impeachment pointless when only 13 days remain before his term expires. Some may say the Senate will never convict him. I believe it is essential that Members of Congress go on record and indicate where they stand with this would-be dictator who employs sedition and incitive rhetoric to fuel his base.”