Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has called on Congress to impeach and remove President Donald Trump from office after supporters of the president stormed the United States Capitol during a joint session to count the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential race.
Blaming Trump for “inciting” the rioters, Pritzker says that the “heart of our democracy is under siege,” and that the president must be removed from office.
“There is no doubt in my mind that his efforts to encourage a coup represent high treason to this democracy, our Constitution and all Americans,” Pritzker said. “He poses a danger to our nation. He must be impeached and removed from office immediately.”
The president, who spoke to protesters on Capitol Hill Wednesday and urged them to march to the United States Capitol building, has sent out a series of tweets falsely claiming that the 2020 presidential election had been “stolen” from him, and also seemed to praise those who had stormed the building, saying "we love you" in a tweet asking them to leave the Capitol peacefully.
A woman was shot and killed inside of the Capitol building during the melee, multiple law enforcement sources have told NBC News.
The DC National Guard, along with law enforcement agencies from the district, Virginia and Maryland, have been deployed to assist local law enforcement during the demonstrations and gatherings, which remain ongoing.
Pritzker blasted the president’s actions in the aftermath of the election and during the violence Wednesday.
“This violence is a natural conclusion of Donald Trump’s efforts to unleash the forces of hate and divide our nation. It must end,” he said.
Here is the governor’s full statement:
“I don’t make a statement like this lightly: Two weeks is too long for Donald Trump to remain in office, where he can continue to incite more untold violence.
“I say this after careful thought and reflection on my responsibilities as an American and as Governor of Illinois. We are in the middle of a deadly pandemic that continues to need the full time and attention of our state resources. We are working to oversee a massive vaccination effort that will require the full focus of our state agencies and first responders.
“Because of today’s events incited by the President, I had to ask the Illinois State Police and other law enforcement resources, engaged in important life-saving missions, to redeploy to heighten their presence at government buildings and the Capitol in Springfield.
“As the heart of our democracy was under siege and blood was literally being spilled in our most sacred halls, Donald Trump was praising the attackers. There are real questions about what efforts the President made to protect our Congress or what obstructions he committed that has prevented the ending of the siege.
“There is no doubt in my mind that his efforts to encourage a coup represent high treason to this democracy, our Constitution and all Americans. He poses a danger to our nation. He must be impeached and removed from office immediately. And every person in a position of public trust, elected or otherwise, who enabled the systematic dismantling of our democratic norms and failed to speak up or take action bears some responsibility for the culmination of four years of spreading bile.
“This violence is the natural conclusion of Donald Trump’s efforts to unleash the forces of hate and divide our nation. It must end.”