The US House Judiciary Committee released a report Tuesday detailing the case for impeachment of President Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors relating to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. The report links Trump’s “prolonged effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and maintain his grip on power” to the violent attack. The committee calls on the House to impeach Trump because he presents an “imminent threat to our security and democracy if he remains in or holds any future office.”
In the months following the November election, Trump “took aggressive steps to overturn its outcome and undermine public confidence in the election results.” The president and his allies filed 62 separate lawsuits in federal and state courts contesting the election, “not to identify legitimate concerns, but to undermine confidence in the results of the election, spread dangerous disinformation, and stoke false and wild conspiracy theories.”
The report quotes a January 2 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” the votes to overturn the state’s results and threatened him with criminal penalties if he failed to do so.
In addition to pressuring election officials, the report also mentions that Trump made public statements claiming election fraud that had already been rejected by the Department of Justice. He called on supporters to “[c]ome to D.C. January 6th to ‘StopTheSteal'” and confirmed his own presence by tweeting, “I will be there! Historic Day.”
The report details that on the morning of the rally, Trump tweeted 12 times claiming the election was “rigged” and called on supporters to “fight” and “be strong.” He directed the crowd’s attention to Vice President Mike Pence, claiming Pence had the authority to overturn the election results. At the rally, Rudy Giuliani repeated false claims of election fraud and urged the crowd to “have trial by combat.” When the president addressed the crowd, he suggested they should “fight much harder” to “stop the steal” and “take back our country” at the Capitol. He called out his vice president and specific legislators saying, “We’ve got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good.” He then told the crowd, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol.” After the speech, thousands of attendees marched down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol.
The insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol made it clear they believed the president directed them to do so. The mob erected gallows and left threatening messages, and police recovered multiple guns, the necessary components to make an explosive device known as a “Molotov cocktail,” and pipe bombs. Five people died and more than 50 police officers were injured.
Even after the mob entered the Capitol, the president continued to affirm the insurrection’s mission by attacking Pence in a tweet: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” A later video shows the insurrectionists chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” Trump has shown no remorse, and rather than condemning the violence, has “justified his supporters’ actions and reiterated his lies about the election.”
The House introduced the Articles of Impeachment on Monday. That same day, a resolution calling for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment was blocked by Senate Republicans. Trump’s term ends on January 20, but even on that shortened time frame, it is possible for him to be impeached and convicted by the Senate.