By Sandra G. Leon
San Diego Congressman Juan Vargas held a press conference to voice his support for Congress to impeach Donald Trump even though the President has only 11 days left in office.
Speaking in downtown San Diego after returning from Washington, D.C., Congressman Vargas said Trump “is dangerous, he needs to be removed from office.”
“What did he do? He had one branch of government attack another branch of government,” Vargas said of Trump’s calls for his supporters to march on the Capitol Building while Congress was in a Joint Session to vote on accepting the Electoral votes from the 50 states to certify the presidential election where Joe Biden won.
“The Executive attacked the Legislative; he whipped up this mob into a frenzy, he sent them down our way to Capitol Hill and had them invade our House to prevent us from changing governments,” Vargas added.
Vargas said he was there four years ago when Donald Trump won his election and the process took only 30 minutes to accept the Electoral votes from all states without incident.
“The last time around I was there, too, when President Trump was elected, it took us 30 minutes,” Vargas said, “even though this was a man that many of us despise, we followed the law,” Vargas continued.
In 2016, after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by the same amount of Electoral votes as Biden received against Trump in November, a few Democratic Congressmembers raised objections to accepting the votes of several states, but, unlike this week, the Joint Session was not recessed so that both houses could debate the objections. In each case, then-Vice-President Joe Biden, who presided over the Joint Session, ruled each objection out-of-order after no Senator rose to support the objection, so Congress continued the certification process. Vargas was correct that the entire session took about half an hour.
In 2001, when then-Vice-President Al Gore presided over a Joint Session of Congress that certified his own election defeat to George W. Bush, several African-American Congressmembers raised objections to accepting the votes of Florida, the one state that delivered the close election for Bush only after the Supreme Court ordered that vote counting be stopped. No Senator supported the objections so the Joint Session continued without recessing for debates.
On Wednesday, thousands of Trump supporters marched on the Capitol and forced their way into the building while the Joint Session was taking up the Electoral votes. The crowd pushed past police barricades, broke windows, and trashed Congressional offices. Some rioters roamed the House and Senate chambers, taking pictures sitting in the presiding officer’s chair, and one person stole the House Speaker’s podium. Five people were killed in the assault, including one Capitol Police officer. Trump had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to stop the certification in a last-ditch effort to overturn the election results.
“This is what the President incited, this is what he wanted, he ultimately wanted them to come and disrupt us and prevent us from counting the votes”, Vargas said. “Of course, ultimately he was not successful, but as the days go on he becomes crazier and crazier, we have to stop this, we cannot allow him to continue to do this,” Vargas concluded.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that the House may present Articles of Impeachment as early as Monday. Although Trump has only 11 days left in office before Joe Biden is sworn-in on January 20th, some Congressmembers, including some Republicans, argue that Trump has committed impeachable offenses and removing him from office would not only send to message to future presidents, but also ban Trump from ever serving in office again.
Congressman Vargas was first election in 2014 and re-elected in 2016, 2018, and 2020. Vargas represents the South County areas of central San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, and areas East to the Arizona border.