Dean Phillips, the U.S. representative for Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District, joined fellow Democrats as well as 10 Republican House members in a 232-197 vote Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time.
The action was on a single article of impeachment charging the president with “high crimes and misdemeanors” for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Incited by President Trump, a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol, injured law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress and the Vice President, interfered with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the election results, and engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts,” the article reads.
Five people died as a result of the Capitol riot. According to Washington D.C. Police, one woman was shot by a police officer inside the Capitol and died, while another woman and two men died from medical emergencies. A Capitol Police Officer also died after being injured while physically engaging with protesters, according to Capitol Police.
Hours before the vote on impeachment, Phillips hosted an online press conference to discuss in detail why he firmly stood behind the move to impeach one week before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
“Those who are calling for unity, with which I agree, must be reminded that without accountability, we cannot have unity,” he said, contending that impeachment was not about politics, but rather consequence and principle.
“Sedition is divisive. Insurrection is divisive. Breaking the law is divisive. Accountability is unifying,” Phillips said.
The representative, who was reelected to a second term in November, also encouraged the American people to open their hearts and minds when considering alternative points of view.
“To those who believe that the election was stolen ... I ask you to simply broaden your sources of information, give it thought, give it reflection, consume a little bit more broadly,” he said. “And to those like me who believe that the election was conducted appropriately - especially in light of COVID - who believe in the legitimate election of Joe Biden. ... We have the same responsibility, to listen to the tens of millions of Americans who feel so angry, so disenfranchised, so disgusted with Washington that they will continue to support Donald Trump because of his promise to disrupt it all and to give them voice. We should reflect on that.”
Phillips said the decision to impeach went beyond political party lines, echoing Republican Sen. Mitt Romney’s statement that the best way to show respect for the American voters who are upset is by telling them the truth.
“This is not an issue between conservatives and liberals,” Phillips said. “This is an issue between those who wish to overthrow the duly elected United States government and those who do not.”
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