On Wednesday night President Donald Trump released a video statement denouncing political violence, including at events reportedly being planned to take place in Washington D.C. and across the country in the coming days. Trump’s remarks came about an hour after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him on a charge of inciting an insurrection among demonstrators at the Capitol last week.
Trump said, “Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement; you’re attacking it, and you’re attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it.”
Trump’s remarks come a week after demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol and clashed with police as Trump rallied supporters in D.C. to raise calls to challenge the results of the 2020 U.S. election.
“There is never a justification for violence. No excuses, no exceptions. America is a nation of laws,” Trump said. “Those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice.”
Trump addressed reports of planned demonstrations in D.C. and across the U.S. in the coming days.
“Every American deserves to have their voice heard in a respectful and peaceful way, that is your first amendment right,” Trump said. “But I can emphasize that there must be no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind. Everyone must follow our laws and obey the instructions of law enforcement.”
Trump said he had directed federal agencies to “use all necessary resources to maintain order.”
Trump’s remarks came shortly after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him for a second time in his presidency; this time on a charge of accusing him of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the impeachment article reads. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He therefore betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
The resolution further states Trump “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
The impeachment passed in the House on a vote of 232 to 197. All Democrats voted in favor, along with 10 Republicans: Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Tom Rice (SC), Dan Newhouse (WA), Peter Meijer (MI), Adam Kinzinger (IL), John Katko (NY), Liz Cheney (WY), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Fred Upton (MI), and David Valadao (CA).
The impeachment now goes to the Senate for consideration. On Wedesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would not take up an emergency session to hear the impeachment case and will instead begind the Senate side of the impeachment process on Jan. 19, one day before Trump is due to leave office.