Congressman Thompson: ‘Trump an enemy of the state’
Hopes 25th Amendment, impeachment ousts presidentVallejo Times Herald, by Richard Freedman, January 7, 2021 UPDATED: 6:24 p.m.
With 24 hours to take a breath, U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson hasn’t wavered. He wants Donald Trump ousted, no matter that the one-term president’s time expires at noon, Jan. 20.
After Wednesday’s siege by an unruly mob at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the congressman Tweeted that he’s “calling on the Vice President to initiate proceedings under the 25th Amendment to gather the Cabinet and remove the President from office. On this dark day for our nation, we need to stand up and end this immediately. Nothing less than the future of our democracy is at stake.”
In a 20-minute phone interview Thursday afternoon, Thompson reiterated that he “absolutely” wants Trump’s reign finished immediately.
“We need to do whatever we can to remove him from this position of power,” Thompson said. “In addition to that, he needs to be impeached for a second time. The articles of impeachment have been drafted and I’ve signed onto that effort. I believe it should be done as quickly as possible.”
There’s no waiting out Trump’s term, Thompson emphasized.
“You saw how much damage he did yesterday — one day. I’m frightened to think about what else he could do,” Thompson said.
Trump “is completely off the rails. He’s become an enemy of the state,” said Thompson, believing the president incited the rioters to seize the Capitol building “to try and prevent a peaceful transition of power” to President-elect Joe Biden.
“He set up a coup attempt yesterday (Wednesday), trying to encourage the vice president to steal this election,” Thompson said, calling the siege aftermath “a sad, sad day in this country.”
Trump “encouraged people to break the law, take up laws against their own country and march to the Capitol and stop the peaceful transition. He asked them to march with him, but when they started marching, he went back to the White House,” said Thompson. “That speaks volumes to what kind of person he is.”
Explaining the lack of law enforcement to help thwart the Capitol siege “is the $64 million question,” said Thompson, adding that he sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “asking to do a top-to-bottom review to find out what went wrong and that we ensure it never goes wrong again.”
Thompson said he also sent Pelosi a text Wednesday night requesting the head of the Capitol State Police be terminated.
“Folks that run security should be fired by morning,” Thompson said. “Whomever was in charge not only put our institution of representative government at risk, but put at risk of the lives of every person in that Capitol building, every staff person, every member of the House, every janitor. And they put the life of every cop at risk by putting them out there ill-prepared to do the job they were asked to do.”
Thompson said he was safely in his office when the mob entered the Capitol, though he was evacuated once when “some kind of explosive device” was located and a second time when shots were fired.
“When hooligans broke through security, I was over in the library,” Thompson, managing to quip, “I don’t think they could find a library with a GPS.”
Seriously, added Thompson, “they need to arrest every one” of the infiltrators “and try them for treason.”
“They call themselves ‘patriots’ but they are really traitors,” Thompson said.
Four people died during the siege, including one woman by gunfire.
“I think the president bears full responsibility for what happened,” Thompson said. “He did this. He did this whole thing. He convinced people to participate in a coup. That’s why he needs to be impeached.”
Thompson said Trump will “definitely be impeached by the House, I’m sure of that. I hope the Senate drums up some courage since they didn’t last time.”
Thompson sees a window of opportunity.
“The dam is starting to break. Some Republicans are calling for his removal. I move to convict him,” Thompson said.
Though 9/11 and school shootings “were terrible, this is in a different league,” Thompson said. “It’s armed insurgence with a treasonous effort to topple our government. It’s an attack on the institution, an attack on democracy, an attack on our republic.”
Almost lost in the scuffle — Democrats flipped the Senate earlier this week, thanks to Georgia, with Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff emerging with run-off wins.
“That’s a shining light in all of this,” Thompson said, reflecting on 500-plus bipartisan bills languishing on Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s desk.
With McConnell on the verge of becoming Senate minority leader and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaker in a potential 50-Democrat, 50-Republican vote, “it’s now a different story,” said Thompson, awaiting the Inauguration Jan. 20.
“Everybody I know — Democrats, Republicans, Independents — don’t want a revolution. They want a return to normalcy,” Thompson said. “It’ll be a much better world.”