While a violent mob of militant Trump supporters prepared to invade the Capitol on January 6, 2021, dozens of Republican lawmakers were busy delaying and dishonoring their constitutionally-mandated duty to certify the election. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) led a craven effort to curry favor with Trump and his supporters by objecting to states’ electoral votes. Their attempt to debase the electoral process was underway when the mob forced its way into the House and Senate chambers. Even after Congress returned to complete the process hours after an emergency evacuation, [139 House and 8 Senate Republicans] (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/01/07/us/elections/electoral-college-biden-objectors.html) persisted in their effort to object to the election results. Later, Republicans would try to distance themselves from their complicity in this coup attempt, which has so far claimed 5 lives, by calling for calm and condemning the very radicals they had been inciting and coddling.
In announcing the start of the second Trump impeachment process on Sunday, January 10, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi advised her caucus to give input on the use of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which dictates removal of legislators for insurrection or rebellion. Newly-elected Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) also plans to introduce a resolution to sanction or even expel members of the House who “tried to overturn the election and incited a white supremacist coup attempt”.
Without harsh and immediate consequences for this heinous miscarriage of governance, politicians will continue to try to exploit dangerous divisions, with disastrous outcomes. These legislators must be held to account if they supported this dishonest effort to ignore the will of voters.