Carper Votes to Convict Former President Trump for Inciting a Violent and Deadly Insurrection

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), released the following statement after voting to convict former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting a violent and deadly mob that assaulted the United States Capitol on January 6th in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election and overturn the will of the American people. 

“After carefully listening to the cases presented by the House Managers and the defense over the past week, a bipartisan majority of United States Senators rendered a guilty verdict against former President Donald Trump today. While this twice-impeached, disgraced former president may have been acquitted because the Senate lacked the 67 votes required for conviction, I assure you that it was not because the House Managers failed to prove the case against Donald Trump. Unfortunately, it was because too many of my Republican colleagues refused to hold Donald Trump accountable for his undeniable role in the unprecedented insurrection that took place right before our eyes in this Capitol on January 6th.

“Throughout the impeachment trial, the House Managers presented overwhelming evidence demonstrating that Donald Trump incited the deadly violence that was witnessed around the world on January 6th. Before ballots were even cast, Donald Trump laid the groundwork for the Big Lie, baselessly claiming that the only way he could lose the election was if it were stolen from him. In the weeks and months that followed, he would repeat that lie again and again and again. When Joe Biden won the election with a margin that Trump himself considered a landslide in 2016, Trump and his enablers continued to push conspiracy theories about election fraud and sowed doubt about our democratic institutions. Donald Trump brazenly – and illegally – prodded election officials to overturn the election results in state after state. He even went so far as to ask the Secretary of State of Georgia to “find” him 11,780 votes, forgetting that in this country votes are counted, not found.

“Trump also exhausted all of his legal options, with over 60 courts around our country and more than a half-dozen Trump-appointed judges rejecting his campaign’s baseless claims of fraud or irregularities. Even to this day, Donald Trump refuses to concede an election that he clearly lost. Then, in one final attempt to maintain power, he summoned a mob to Washington in an effort to stop the certification of the election results by Congress. The mob showed up and – cheered on by Trump – headed down Constitution Avenue  to the U.S. Capitol to lay waste to the very symbol of our democracy. Donald Trump’s drumbeat of misinformation for months was the tinder, and his words on January 6th – calling on his supporters to march down to the Capitol and ‘fight like hell’— lit the fire.

“The world watched in disbelief and horror as white supremacists and other violent extremists stormed our seat of government in a last-ditch attempt to overturn the election. Those rioters broadcasted their intentions to hang Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, and kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. The insurrectionists proudly displayed confederate flags and other symbols of hate. A Capitol Police Officer was beaten to death. Nearly 150 Capitol Police Officers sustained injuries, one lost his eye, another lost part of his finger, and another sustained head injuries after she was pushed by a metal barrier. Tragically, two officers have taken their own lives in the aftermath of that day. And, for the first time in our country’s history, a sacred tradition – the peaceful transfer of power – was broken. And our Commander-in-Chief simply watched as the insurrectionists tried to hunt down his own Vice President and wreaked havoc on our Capitol. Five people lost their lives on that tragic day because the President of the United States, rather than accept the clear evidence that he had lost fair and square, fanned the flames of an attack on our Capitol and did nothing to extinguish the fire. If this isn’t an impeachable offense, then nothing is. 

“I believe it’s important to note that seven of my Republican colleagues chose to stand on the right side of history today despite the possible peril that doing so may create in their own lives and in the lives of their families. I pray that it will not. Their courage today will not go unnoticed. Earlier this week, a former Republican Senate colleague of mine, now retired, reminded me of the words spoken over 150 years ago by William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament and a tireless abolitionist, who warned his colleagues after a contentious debate:  ‘Today, you may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.’ Today, too many of my colleagues chose to look away, but the facts clearly prove – and history will show – that former President Donald Trump violated his oath of office, failed to protect and defend our Constitution and our Capitol and, as a result, is unfit to ever hold office again. 

“As Senators, we have all taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution. It’s an oath I have proudly taken many times, both in uniform and as an elected official. It’s my promise to Delawareans and all Americans that I will faithfully work to ensure that the longest-running experiment in democracy continues. Today, by voting to convict former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting a deadly insurrection on a coequal branch of government, I believe I have upheld that oath.”