Democrats in Congress want to hold Republican leadership accountable for Wednesday’s Capitol building riots, and they’re already campaigning on it.
On Thursday, lawmakers were exploring possible legal repercussions for President Donald Trump and GOP legislators after a group of Trump supporters, spurred on by right-wing rhetoric claiming that the presidential election was stolen, sieged the Capitol building in a violent standoff with police that left five dead.
Impeachment and invoking the 25th Amendment were suggested. Rep. Cori Bush, meanwhile, said she would introduce a resolution to sanction or remove from office those House members who backed challenges to the election results.
“I believe the Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election must face consequences. They have broken their sacred Oath of Office,” the congresswoman from Missouri wrote on Twitter. “I will be introducing a resolution calling for their expulsion.”
She backed up her statement by creating and promoting the website GOPCoup.com. The site encourages Americans to add their names as cosigners of “Rep. Cori Bush’s bill to investigate and expel these members from Congress” and then requests their full names, zip codes, and email addresses. This common campaign tactic, used to gather supporters’ information and add them to email lists asking for donations, is frequently used by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and others.
“You may receive email updates from Cori Bush for Congress, Justice Democrats, Be A Hero, LeftNet, Ayanna Pressley for Congress, Common Defense, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress, Jamaal Bowman for Congress,” and 22 other political action committees, the fine print of the website reads.
Cruz, meanwhile, has been using his initial objection to certifying the presidential election in favor of President-elect Joe Biden to raise campaign funds as well. “Ted Cruz here,” he wrote in a mass text sent to supporters. “I’m leading the fight to reject key electors from key states unless there is an emergency audit of the election results. Will you stand with me?” The message included a link to a campaign site.
Cruz ended his fight to delay or prevent Biden’s certification following the riots. Still, he used a Thursday morning speech on the Senate floor to continue to falsely imply that the election results were incorrect.
It was a matter of “respect” for the voters, Cruz said, arguing that the Senate was telling them to “go jump in a lake” even though they had “deep concerns” over the validity of the vote counts in their state. “That jeopardizes, I believe, the legitimacy of this and subsequent elections.”
The vast majority of voters believe that Biden won the White House legitimately.
On Thursday evening, Trump released a video finally conceding the election. “Now Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20,” he said. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
More politics coverage from Fortune:
- “We will never concede”: How Donald Trump incited an attack on America
- Democrats plan to use Senate win to pass $2,000 stimulus checks
- Photos: A look at the nationwide riots on Wednesday
- Attempted coup at Capitol presents key opportunity for cyberattack, experts warn
- Betting odds heavily favored Georgia’s GOP candidates, then suddenly collapsed. What went wrong?