President Trump on Tuesday criticized efforts by House Democrats to move forward with impeaching him a second time, calling it “ridiculous” and the cause of “tremendous anger” across the country.
The Democratic-controlled House is poised to vote Wednesday on impeaching Trump for inciting a violent mob of his supporters who attacked the Capitol last week. The riots left five individuals dead and have prompted broad condemnation of the president’s actions and rhetoric.
Trump, who spoke to reporters at the White House before leaving Washington for a trip to Texas on Tuesday to tour sections of the southern border wall, said that a second impeachment would be “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics” and accused Democrats of endangering the country in moving forward with it. He also said that he wanted “no violence” following the assault in Washington, D.C., last week.
“We want no violence, never violence; we want absolutely no violence,” he said.
“This impeachment is causing tremendous anger,” the president continued. “For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence.”
The remarks represented his first in-person public statement since the riots last week. He did not address his role in the assault on the Capitol
Trump has been mostly out of public sight since his election loss. On Tuesday, he ignored shouted questions from reporters, delivering just his statement.
Trump for two months refused to accept President-elect Joe Biden’s win and repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen from him through widespread fraud, assertions that have been roundly disputed by election officials and others.
The attack at the Capitol last week took place after Trump urged a crowd of supporters on the National Mall to head to the complex and fight the election results as Congress convened to certify the Electoral College votes. Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews later Tuesday that those remarks were “totally appropriate.”
Trump initially resisted pressure to condemn the riots, releasing a video message Wednesday evening in which he urged his supporters to be peaceful but called them “special,” and said “I know how you feel.”
He eventually released another video on Thursday evening in which he condemned the violence and acknowledged that a new administration would take over on Jan. 20, saying he would be focused on an orderly transition. His Twitter account has since been permanently suspended out due to the risk of inciting violence.
Trump was impeached in December 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress for pressuring Ukraine’s president to investigate the dealings of the Biden family. He was acquitted by the GOP-controlled Senate last February.
Source: The Hill