U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo called the mob storming the U.S. Capitol Wednesday (Jan. 6) an insurrection, backed impeaching President Donald Trump and said this was the saddest day of her life.
“It was an attempt of a coup in our country,” Eshoo said in an interview with the Town Crier. “They were incited by the President of the United States of America.”
Eshoo represents the 18th California Congressional District, which includes Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.
Congress was set to certify the electoral college votes Wednesday, which is typically an uncontroversial, procedural step. This time was different. With Trump continuing to refuse to accept his loss, a group of Republican senators and representatives planned to object to the certification of electors in certain states President-elect Joe Biden won.
As Congress debated the certification of Arizona’s electors, a crowd coming from a speech given by Trump broke into the Capitol building, forcing members of Congress and others to evacuate. The mob forced its way into the Senate and House chambers, overtaking the Capitol for hours.
By the time Eshoo spoke with the Town Crier at roughly 6:45 p.m. EST, she was sheltering in a locked, interior room within one of the House office buildings. Congress later reconvened and certified the Electoral College votes.
Eshoo said that the day’s events were a “dangerous first” in the country’s history and supported impeaching the president.
“If I had my way, this man would be impeached in 24 hours or less, because he has violated the Constitution,” Eshoo said. “I don’t even think he understands it.”
In a written statement on Thursday (Jan. 7), Eshoo announced that she was cosponsoring articles of impeachment, set to be filed on Monday (Jan. 11).
As for those members of Congress who objected to certifying the Electoral College votes, Eshoo said they didn’t surprise her, but that she considers them to be “traitors to our country” for perpetrating a lie about the vote count.
Despite all the evidence, Eshoo said the president has continued to refuse to accept the fact of his loss and allow a peaceful transition of power.
“The President used his voice to incite his followers all over again,” Eshoo said. “It really is just about the saddest day of my life to witness this.”
Over nearly three decades serving in Congress, Eshoo said she has been through two impeachments, voted on a war resolution and experienced multiple near collapses of the economy. None of that, she said, compared to what happened Wednesday.
“For citizens of our country to attack our democracy at the behest of the President of the United States – no, I’ve never experienced anything like this, and I don’t think anyone else has either,” Eshoo said.
Eshoo added that it's important for lawmakers to resume governing, prepare for Biden’s inauguration and stay “laser-beam focused” on the needs of the American people, including fighting the coronavirus, ensuring vaccines are distributed and rebuilding the economy.
“We have a lot of work to do and hopefully (by) addressing these challenges, it will help rebuild the confidence of people in our democratic institutions,” Eshoo said. “I don’t think that it’s going to be an easy thing to do, but nonetheless I think we have to work very hard on it.”
This article was updated at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 7 to include that Eshoo is now cosponsoring articles of impeachment.