When we watched Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff appear to be on the cusp of victory in the Georgia Senate runoff elections on Tuesday night, I know we all felt a sense of jubilation. The possibility of real change coming to Washington and a Congress that will work with President-elect Joe Biden finally appeared to be within reach. Thankfully, that is still the case with both of those races now decided — but the very next day, a tragedy unfolded that has overshadowed even that monumental moment.
On Wednesday, a violent band of insurrectionists spurred on by President Trump himself breached the U.S. Capitol. This was the culmination of months of the President and his allies, including many here in New Jersey, pushing false conspiracy theories about voter fraud and refusing to accept the certified election results. That shameful effort to undermine our democracy continued right up until the moment when the protest turned into a violent, terrorist act, with President Trump addressing the crowd and urging them on, then refusing to do anything to stop them.
Let’s put this in perspective — the President of the United States incited an angry mob to break into the nation’s capital and disrupt the official legislative activity of the U.S. Congress, while it worked to certify his loss in the election. It’s never been more clear how dangerous allowing the Trump presidency to continue would be, even for a short amount of time.
On behalf of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, I stand with the members of our Congressional delegation in calling for President Trump to be immediately removed from office. The damage that was done to our country this week by the President and his followers and enablers will take a significant amount of time to be undone, and there is no telling what else they are capable of at this perilous moment. I strongly believe that the Vice President and the Cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the President from office, and if they will not act, then Congress should move swiftly to begin the impeachment process. There is no other option left. A message must be sent that President Trump’s reprehensible conduct, his willful endangerment of elected officials and other public servants and his attempts to destroy our democracy cannot stand.
As Governor Murphy highlighted today, the cost of this heinous act is still only coming into focus but we know that New Jersey native, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, was killed. At least four other people have died, including some of the insurrectionists themselves, and dozens of police officers remain hospitalized with serious injuries.
The horrific events we saw unfold in Washington could never have happened without the complicity of Republicans who have played into President Trump’s attacks on democracy for their own selfish purposes. Republicans like Jack Ciattarelli, Doug Steinhardt, Jeff Van Drew and many others are directly complicit in the atrocity. Over and over, despite repeated calls, each of them has refused to condemn President Trump’s lies not just about the election, but throughout the last four years. They are complicit in the actions of the insurrectionists.
The past four years with Donald Trump in the White House have been some of the darkest days in our nation’s history. It can be difficult to see it, but hope is on the horizon. No matter what the President and his conspiracy theorists say, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in on January 20th. They will be joined by Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and we will finally have the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and deliver real relief to people who desperately need it..
We can defeat Trumpism, right wing extremism, white nationalism, racism and the other forces of darkness in our country and our state TOGETHER. We must continue to do the work this year and beyond. We’re in this together, and I want you to know that the New Jersey Democratic State Committee will continue to fight for what is right.