Click this link to hear an audio recording of me reading the text of this post:
The case presented today by the brilliant house democratic impeachment managers was airtight and devastating.
They laid out very clearly that President Trump had – even before the election – begun to stoke the rage and violence of his followers. And that, in the two months between the election and the Capitol riot, he did everything possible to continue building that rage.
As his followers turned progressively more violent over November and December, he never once in any way criticized their violent excesses, but only applauded them. He personally called that crowd to Washington that day – and for three weeks beforehand, he incited them with more and more violent imagery.
On the day that he spoke to the rally that preceded the riot, he absolutely knew that many in that crowd were armed and violent – and he chose to work them up even more.
As the violence escalated over the course of the afternoon he steadfastly refused to do or say anything to try to stop it – even when members of his own party and his own family were begging him to do so.
Being glued to every word of the presentation today was, for me, both breathtaking and personally devastating. It all was too horrible to watch – and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It’s just too important.
Any of you readers of this post who choose not to subject yourself to that much coverage of the impeachment proceedings can be forgiven for doing so.
But none of us who enjoy the benefits of living in this country can evade personal responsibility for seeing that justice is done.
The public servants whose lives were in such great danger on January 6 are our employees – they work for us. If any of us colludes with the Republicans sweeping all this under the rug, then we have made a decision to not care about any of those public servants who were in so much danger.
Most Republican senators knew before the impeachment began that Trump was guilty. The only reason any of them would vote to acquit is because they’re still afraid that Trump will organize a primary against them and that it will hurt their political careers.
It is incumbent on each one of us to make very clear to our own senators that, if they choose to acquit Trump, we will take personal responsibility for making sure they pay a price for that cowardly abandonment of their duty.
I am going to contact my North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, tomorrow and spell out very clearly: “If you vote to acquit, you will have abandoned your oath to judge the case impartially. I will ￼do everything in my power to make sure you pay a price for this.”￼
I will also send him the blog post below, which I created last week after watching Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ powerful Instagram post about her personal trauma from the riot￼. The post includes a three minute audio introduction, a four-minute video of AOC’s Instagram post, and my two minute rant about our personal responsibility to act.
(Richard Burr, United States senator from North Carolina: 202-224-3154.)