(WTNH) — Connecticut lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree the president is to blame for the violence at the Capitol last week. CT’s GOP lawmakers blame President Trump for the riot, and CT’s senators in Washington are calling for Trump’s removal.
Both Democratic U.S. Senators who represent Connecticut believe President Trump has not conceded the election. They also say that in this exceptional moment in history, exceptional action must be taken.
Impeachment of President Donald Trump means removal from office and disqualification from ever holding elected office. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for a Senate trial immediately.
Senator Blumenthal says the domestic terror President Trump incited is enough for a conviction: “The armed insurrection we saw and I went through it. It was horrifying, shocking, sickening and demands accountability.”
Senator Chris Murphy is appalled the angry crowd stormed the Capitol: “This is America’s temple of Democracy, the U.S. Capitol.”
Blumenthal and Murphy say the president’s words whipped up his base and put the nation in peril.
Senator Blumenthal recalls the words Trump used on the stage in front of the Capitol: “It’s going to be wild… come to the Capitol.”
Murphy says that day, virtually every member of the Senate, every member of the House, “The number 1, 2, 3 in line of succession to the presidency,” was in the building.
Senator Murphy says he never felt in danger. But a breakdown in power structure meant it took four hours for the National Guard to arrive at the Capitol.
He is determined to fix that and has joined his colleagues in writing to the Secretary of Defense asking for a change in power structure where one agency would sign off on military help.
The current protocol requires the Capitol Police, the D.C. Mayor and the Sergeant of Arms at the U-S Capitol to approve any help.
Meantime, he’s fearful the inauguration is at risk.
“Part of the reason why Congress is talking about impeachment now is he’s not being helpful in securing the inauguration. Seems to be doing more harm than good,” added Murphy.
If Vice President Mike Pence invokes the 25th Amendment and Trump is relieved of office, Senator Murphy says impeachment is unnecessary. But he warns, “He is still going to be a menace, whether or not he’s president or whether or not he’s eligible to run for office in the future.”
When asked if Trump should be given time to prepare a defense of his actions, Senator Blumenthal says, “He should be given due process, the right to defend himself and the right to prepare.”
Both senators were asked what should happen to their colleagues who allegedly stoked the flames with rhetoric? Both say they’re still deciding whether censure or expulsion is the appropriate action.
On the other side, Themis Klarides – who was once the most powerful Republican woman in Connecticut and left her post as House Minority Leader last month – and New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart – who is one of the few Republicans running a city in CT both feel President Trump is to blame for the deadly violence at the Capitol.
“He certainly had an ability at his fingertips to quickly and swiftly tell people to back away and he waited and we saw the results of that,” Mayor Stewart added.
“The events in Washington will take some time to unpack. The lack of preparedness to hold back the rioters, the subset of people from an otherwise peaceful protest who incited the violence and a lack of action by the president and other government leaders that could have prevented this travesty all need to be reviewed – and those responsible be held accountable to the full extent of the law,” Bob Stefanowski, 2018 GOP Gubernatorial Candidate.
Stewart and Klarides seem to be both looking ahead to the Republican Party of the future, but President Trump has warned he might be back. Both women say, ‘please don’t.’
“I don’t think he should run for president again. End of story,” Klarides said.