Editor’s Note: The following is the text of a letter sent by NPI today to the offices of the Pacific Northwest’s United States Representatives in Congress.
I’m writing on behalf of the board and staff of the Northwest Progressive Institute to ask that you vote to impeach Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors.
For much of his life, Donald Trump has stoked the fires of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry in our country and around the world. He has lied incessantly – to the press, to the American public, and even his own followers. And he has incited, encouraged, and abetted violence against people opposed to him or his agenda.
Last week’s terrorist attack on the Capitol was hardly the first time Trump has exhorted people to resort to violence. During his first campaign for President of the United States, in 2016, Trump encouraged his rabid followers to be violent with anyone staging a protest inside of his hate-filled rallies.
“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, okay? Just knock the hell … I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise,” Trump said on February 1st, 2016 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
At a successive Las Vegas rally, Trump said of a protester: “He’s walking out with big high-fives, smiling, laughing… I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you.” *
And at another rally in Warren, Michigan, that same month, Trump said: “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court. Don’t worry about it.”
The following year (2017), speaking to a gathering of law enforcement, Trump said: “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just seen them thrown in, rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’ When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head you know, the way you put their hand over [their head], like, ‘Don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head.’ I said, ‘You can take the hand away, okay?’”
This destructive behavior is unacceptable, but too many people have become desensitized to it. Worse, a growing number of Americans have become radicalized by this would-be fascist dictator and his enablers.
Last year, the House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump and presented the compelling case for his removal to the United States Senate.
The Senate unwisely did not remove Trump from office.
Several Republican senators who voted against convicting Trump (like Susan Collins) incredulously suggested afterward that Trump had learned his lesson.
In fact, all that experience taught Trump was that he still commanded almost complete loyalty from the Republican Party, one of America’s oldest institutions, and would not be held accountable for his wrongdoing.
For Trump, the outcome of the impeachment trial simply reinforced his belief that, in his words, when you’re a star, they let you do it… you can do anything.
Representatives, this time must be different. Kindness and appeasement do not work against bullies like Trump. Bullies must be confronted and held accountable, or their destructive behavior will continue indefinitely.
Last week, Donald Trump and his most loyal surrogates, including his children and Rudy Giuliani, sent a violent terrorist mob down Pennsylvania Avenue to attack the United States Capitol and the United States Congress, including Vice President Mike Pence, the President of the Senate.
Not since British troops attacked our capital city in 1814, during the War of 1812, has our seat of government been defiled and desecrated like this.
Then, while that violent terrorist mob that he incited was storming the Capitol, Trump sat back and watched from the comfort of the White House, under the protection of the United States Secret Service.
These actions – like Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine into going after his opponent, President-elect Joe Biden – were a complete betrayal of everything the United States of America stands for.
Our Founders anticipated that a time might come when a dangerous, disloyal, selfish, narcissistic sociopath like Trump might hold the presidency or another federal office. That’s why the Constitution provides for impeachment.
As you know, the House has the sole power to impeach.
You are members of the United States House of Representatives who have sworn and signed an oath to support our Constitution.
We call on you to fulfill your oath and defend our Constitution against one of the greatest threats it has ever faced. Vote to impeach Donald Trump now so that the Senate can rectify the mistake it made a year ago when it failed to protect our republic by removing Trump from office.
Even if Trump is not removed before his term expires, he can still be convicted and disqualified from holding or enjoying “any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States”. This must happen.
This republic was given to us to keep, and keep it we must.
An ancient proverb holds that we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, but rather borrow it from our children. The same could be said of our democratic republic. It is in our care now, but we are borrowing it from our children and their children – and their children. For them and for us, we must put the values our country was founded upon above all else, including any political considerations.
We call on you to vote fearlessly to impeach Donald Trump, and assure the future of these United States.