SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina has seen a lot in his life but nothing like what happened at the nation’s Capitol Building this week.
“We witnessed an attempted coup,” Clyburn told reporters on Friday.
He said members of his staff barricaded themselves inside his office and as Majority Whip and the third highest ranking democrat in the House of Representatives, he was evacuated from the House Chamber as word came that rioters had breached the building.
Clyburn says that lawmakers were conducing an excercise that for years has been routine, i.e. approving the votes for president from the Electoral College.
“We witnessed an unprecedented disruption of that process by a group of thugs reacting to an unprecedented request from our president and more importantly, our Commander in Chief,” said Clyburn.
He questions why there wasn’t more security or more arrests of those who damaged the building. Clyburn says last June, more than 200 Black Lives Matter protesters who conducted peaceful demonstrations were arrested
“And I want to emphathize that there were peaceful demonostrators, people who came in peace, not like the ones on Wednesday who brought weapons and Molotov cocktails,” said Clyburn.
He says President Trump fueled the riot with lies about the outcome of the the election and that up to 150 republican lawmakers are doing the same by not approving results of the electoral college.
“And my republican colleagues ought to be ashamed of themselves for voting to overturn the will of the people,” said Clyburn.
And while President Trump has less than two weeks left in office, Clyburn believes he should be resign or be impeached.
“This president says he wants to be remembered for doing things that have never been done before. He will be remembered and he should be remembered for being the first president in the history of this country to be impeached, twice,” said Clyburn.
Clyburn says from him the events of the last few days mean that a message must be sent.
“Preserving democracy, that’s what’s at stake here,” he said.