U.S. Representative Cindy Axne and other Democrats from Iowa came around late to the idea of impeaching President Donald Trump in 2019. But following the violent attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the sole remaining Democrat in Iowa’s Congressional delegation has determined that there is no time to waste in removing Trump from office permanently.
Axne’s office confirmed on January 8 that she will sign a resolution fellow House Democrats drafted, which charge Trump with abuse of power.
I do not make this decision lightly, but President Trump has the blood of five Americans – including one Capitol Police officer – on his hands. On Sunday, I swore to uphold the Constitution and protect our nation from enemies foreign and domestic. A President who incites an attack on the seat of our government is a threat that cannot be tolerated for even one more day.
Axne had previously urged Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, saying Trump had “invited and induced these acts of treason” at the Capitol and “poses a critical danger to our citizens and to our Constitution. It is not safe for him to retain the powers of commander in chief for two more weeks.”
In her January 8 statement, she said that since Pence is not pursuing the 25th Amendment remedy, and several cabinet “secretaries have resigned rather than stand up to this President, the only Constitutional option left to protect our nation is for the United States Congress to approve articles of impeachment.”
The resolution charges that Trump “engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” It notes that on January 6, he repeated false claims of winning the presidential election “by a landslide” to a crowd of supporters near the Capitol, which foreseeably caused “lawless action.” The mob that stormed the building injured law enforcement, threatened members of Congress and the vice president, interfered with the “constitutional duty to certify the election results, and “engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”
The resolution also cites “prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election,” including the January 2 phone call in which Trump urged Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” him enough votes to win. In so doing, Trump “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government,” “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government.”
The newly-elected Iowa Republicans in the U.S. House, who denounced the January 6 attacks but have echoed false claims about widespread election fraud, oppose impeaching the president. Representative Ashley Hinson (IA-01) said in a statement, “We don’t need any further division now.” Similarly, Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02) told the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Vanessa Miller cited President-elect Joe Biden’s talk “about uniting the country,” adding that “There’s twelve days remaining of Trump’s presidency.”
Trump has floated the idea of running for president again in 2024. He would be ineligible to do so if he were impeached and removed this month.
Articles of impeachment drafted by Representatives David Cicilline, Ted Lieu, and Jamie Raskin:
Statement released by Representative Cindy Axne’s office on January 8:
DES MOINES — Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) announced she supports a vote on new articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in the aftermath of Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol:
“Yesterday, I urged the Cabinet and Vice President Pence to move towards invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. I did so because the President’s actions and rhetoric clearly pose a grave threat to our nation’s citizens and our democracy.
As the Vice President has reportedly declined to explore this remedy, and Cabinet secretaries have resigned rather than stand up to this President, the only Constitutional option left to protect our nation is for the United States Congress to approve articles of impeachment.
I do not make this decision lightly, but President Trump has the blood of five Americans – including one Capitol Police officer – on his hands. On Sunday, I swore to uphold the Constitution and protect our nation from enemies foreign and domestic. A President who incites an attack on the seat of our government is a threat that cannot be tolerated for even one more day.”
Rep. Axne will be signing on to the resolution drafted by Reps. David Cicilline, Ted Lieu, and Jamie Raskin.
Statement Axne’s office released on January 7:
Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) issued the following statement on the role that President Trump played in yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol:
“The violence, insurrection, and unfortunate loss of life that we witnessed yesterday is unacceptable, and there must be consequences for both those that attacked the Capitol and those who incited their actions in the first place.
President Trump invited and induced these acts of treason. And through his four years in office, he has undermined the integrity of our institutions, elections, and the very foundation of our democracy. Even as the mob continued looting our nation’s capitol yesterday, President Trump used his position of power to praise and thank those acting in his name.
The President’s words and actions have grown increasingly dangerous and erratic, and I believe he poses a critical danger to our citizens and to our Constitution. It is not safe for him to retain the powers of commander in chief for two more weeks. The 25th Amendment must be immediately invoked to remove him from office.”