CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker called on the U.S. Congress to impeach and remove President Donald Trump after he continued to falsely claim the presidential election was stolen after rioting protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.
In a statement posted to Twitter Wednesday night, Pritzker said in part:
“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.”Governor JB Pritzker
After Trump held a rally in Washington D.C. Wednesday, demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. Capitol as Congress met inside, intending to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win.
The Capitol was put on lockdown and voting halted after rioting protesters, some armed, stormed the building.
In a video statement posted to Twitter which was later removed, Trump called on demonstrators to go home but continued to falsely claim the U.S. presidential election was stolen.
In another statement which was also removed, Trump said in part: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots…”
Law enforcement officers secured the Capitol Wednesday night.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle criticized Trump’s response and the riot at the Capitol Wednesday night.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5th District) said in a tweet she was drawing up Articles of Impeachment.
“Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate,” Omar said.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16th District) called the storming of the Capitol a “coup attempt,” saying it was meant to disrupt the process to certify Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) also called the invasion of the Capitol by violent protesters an “attempted coup.”
“Anyone claiming to be a leader must now unambiguously, unequivocally, admit that the election is over and prove that in this country, truth still matters. Right still matters,” Duckworth said in a statement.
Embattled Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan also said the events at the Capitol, “nothing short of a coup at the hands of Donald Trump and his Republican enablers.”
“I stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to condemn these treasonous riots. Let’s be resolved to move past this dark chapter together as one nation,” Madigan said.
Other officials did not equate the events of Wednesday night with an attempted coup but were unanimous in their criticism.
Former president Barack Obama called the events of Wednesday night a “moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,” blaming Republicans and their “accompanying media ecosystem” for perpetuating claims of a stolen presidential election.
“Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo,” Obama said in a statement.
Former President George W. Bush also called the scenes at the Capitol a “sickening and heartbreaking sight.”
“This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic,” Bush said. “Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation.”
“The vote we’re going to have here is a clear choice of whether we’re going to feed the beast of ignorance or we are going to tell the truth to the American people,” Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said after Congress resumed Wednesday night.
“We saw that beast today roaming the halls, let’s not invite it back,” Durbin said.
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) said the violence at the Capitol reminded him of a shooting which targeted members of Congress in 2017.
“Political violence of any kind is never acceptable and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There’s no excuse for what we saw today,” Davis said.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused Trump of encouraging his supporters to commit acts of violence.
“President Trump and his enablers incited this violence. Shame on every elected official in Congress and elsewhere who fomented this anti-democratic insurrection by extremists. This is not democracy. This is a disgrace,” Lightfoot said.