Rep. Al Lawson: Trump Is 'A Danger to America'
Calling his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives who objected to Electoral College election results "embarrassing," Democratic North Florida Representative Al Lawson says he expects efforts to impeach President Donald Trump to move quickly this week in the House of Representatives.
"They're gonna move," said Lawson, who represents North Florida's 5th District, which stretches from Jacksonville to Tallahassee.
"First with the 25th amendment, allowing the vice president to invoke it, to have the president removed from office the last couple of days, because he's a danger to America," Lawson said, referring to the mounting pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to mobilize the Cabinet and invoke the 25th Amendment, thereby relieving Trump of his duties.
If that doesn't happen, the House of Representatives is expected to forge ahead with plans to impeach Trump for a second time.
Lawson made his remarks on Monday's First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. The congressman said he was not inside the Capitol when a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the building, breaking windows and ransacking offices.
"It was unbelievable. None of my staff was at the Capitol, except one. I was not in the chamber at the time. But everything just unfolded so quickly. It was almost incomprehensible to realize that the safest place in the world was under attack. And so it was just incredible how everything unfolded that day, and how they were able to take over the speaker's office, the senate president's chamber, and it was so unfortunate that a woman was killed. But it was the most incredible thing to witness in history. That's never happened like this since the War of 1812 when the British burned down the Capitol area."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday the House would attempt to pass a resolution by unanimous consent Monday, calling for the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office - her first time definitively saying the House will move to impeach him.
If the resolution doesn't pass by unanimous consent, and it most assuredly won't given likely Republican resistance, then the measure will be brought to the floor for a full vote on Tuesday.
The resolution will call on Pence to respond within 24 hours.
Lawson was among a group of House Democrats who faced off against a group of Republicans early Thursday as lawmakers got into a shouting match after remarks by Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb, according to news reports.
Lamb had just delivered remarks critical about the Republican members' role in Wednesday's riot and Capitol takeover by Trump loyalists, in which four people died and 52 were arrested.
Lamb had echoed Lawson’s remark from earlier that Congressional Republicans who disagreed with the election results “should be ashamed of themselves” for their role in stoking mob anger and an invasion of the U.S. Capitol.
Lawson called his Republican colleagues attempts to object to the certification results "embarrassing."
"The President is really a detriment to our American government, and an embarrassment for us all around the world. And we should be more concerned about taking care of the American people with the COVID situation that we have. Instead of just outright lies about the election, and they have been determined to be lies. And it's really unfortunate that we would have members of Congress not operate in the best interest of the American people and people in our district but in the best interest of a president who has said all of this stuff. And you really have to stand up for what is right and stop the lies that are going on."
Jacksonville area Republican Congressman John Rutherford was among the group of Republicans who late Wednesday night objected to two state's election results, hours after pro-Trump extremists has stormed the Capitol.
Lawson also echoed calls emanating from the House for an investigation into lax security at the Capitol as the "Stop the Steal" ralliers stormed the building.
“It's shocking, because when you had the Black Lives Matter rally, you had the National Guard, everybody else around all over the place. They failed to protect us and our staff. The Capitol Police were really outnumbered, and there have been two Capitol Police officers who have died, one that died in the situation, and one who committed suicide. You know, it's just really tragic. And we repeatedly called the president and asked him to try to help these people out. And he wouldn't respond. When we asked for protection from the D.C. police, from Virginia, from Maryland, he would not give them the order. Many of us could have been killed. We had a lot of women for the first time being elected to Congress, and it was frightening for them."
Melissa Ross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6382 or on Twitter at @MelissainJax.