Here’s what members of Florida’s delegation are saying Wednesday in Washington, D.C., as the U.S. House of Representatives discusses impeaching President Donald Trump. The effort follows last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor
Castor urged the immediate removal of Trump from office.
“I rise today to urge the impeachment of Donald Trump because the attack on the Capitol and the Congress was the single most depraved betrayal of the U.S. Constitution ever committed by a president,” the Tampa Democrat said on the House floor.
She added that “the incitement of an insurrection demands not just an impeachment but removal from office immediately.”
“Accountability must come swiftly… Donald Trump’s defilement of this Capitol will not stand, it demands impeachment now,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz
Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican, denounced impeaching Trump and pointed to accusations from Trump about “the improper activities of the Biden crime family.”
Gaetz continued rhetoric surrounding baseless claims of voter fraud against Trump, saying “dead people” voted in the 2020 presidential election.
“Seems to me that impeachment is an itch that doesn’t go away with just one scratch. It also seems that President Trump may be most likely to be impeached when he is correct,” he said on the House floor.
“This president has faced unprecedented hatred and résistance from big media and big tech and big egos from Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle.”
Gaetz deflected attention from the pro-Trump riots at the U.S. Capitol to protests earlier regarding racial injustices across the nation.
“I denounce political violence from all ends of the spectrum, but make no mistake, the left in America has incited far more political violence than the right. For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist
Crist, a St. Petersburg Democrat, supported an impeachment and said in a written statement posted on Twitter:
“History will forever mark the day a sitting United States President incited an armed mob to attack the U.S. Congress ceremonially certifying the will of the American people in a free and fair presidential election.
“The first time the House voted to impeach President Trump, I said that I took no joy in impeaching a President who acted above the law. Today is also joyless. But it’s with a profound sense of urgency to protect and defend the American people and our democracy that we must act.
President Trump, through action and deed, has proven to be unfit, unable, and unwilling to faithfully discharge his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He is a clear and present threat to our nation and must be impeached and convicted by the Senate.”
U.S. Rep. Greg Steube
Steube, a Sarasota Republican, spoke on the House floor in opposition to impeachment and mentioned past allegations from Democrats against Trump.
“For three years, Democratic members of this body and mainstream media lied to the American people that the Trump campaign colluded and conspired with Russia,” Steube said.
He added that Trump called for a peaceful protest, saying “there was no crime committed” by the president.
“There was no language in the president’s speech that incited or provoked violence. In fact, around the 18 minute mark, he stated ‘peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,’ ” Steube said.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
Wasserman Schultz, a South Florida Democrat, said on the House floor that President Trump’s incitement of violence is a” treasonous betrayal of our nation.”
“I rise to support the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump for seditious acts against America,” she said.
“To overturn the 2020 presidential election, Trump incited a violent assault on Congress…this criminal incitement left us with five dead. President Trump is a clear and present danger of American lives and democracy.”
More to come….