Out Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) discussed with The Hill what it was like working in Congress during the Capitol Insurrection and how the violence inspired him to help lead the second impeachment of Donald Trump.
Cicilline said that his colleague Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) “came into my office because he had been evacuated from his office building, and asked whether he could stay in our office, and we of course said yes.”
“And as we were watching the events unfold [on TV]… and as the day went on and there were reports of injuries and a death, it was very clear to me that there was no way that we could just sort of say, ‘Well, OK, [Trump] is about to leave, just let it go.’”
He said that he and Lieu started “writing what the article of impeachment would actually look like” that day, and they “developed the idea of incitement of insurrection.”
Cicilline would go on to introduce the articles of impeachment in the House, which led to the successful second impeachment of Trump. After that, he was named one of the impeachment managers, bringing the case to remove Trump from office to the Senate.
“We’ve seen this back-sliding of democracy and attempted coups in places all over the world, but never imagined it could ever happen in the United States of America,” he said. “And we were watching it unfold before our very eyes. So it was really clear to me from that very first moment that we had to do something to hold the president at the time accountable for his incitement of this violence.”
“The president of the United States sided with the insurrectionists,” he said during the impeachment proceedings. “He celebrated their cause. He validated their attack.”
Rep. Cicilline on fmr. President Trump's tweet reacting to Capitol riot: "The president of the United States sided with the insurrectionists. He celebrated their cause. He validated their attack." pic.twitter.com/9QMVpTgSoT
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 9, 2021
Cicilline was voted LGBTQ Nation’s 2021 Hero Defending Democracy by the site’s readers due to his leadership role in seeking accountability for the attempt to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 election.