Editor’s note: It’s become a truism, but these are unprecedented times. Though we stress local news, we believe that reporting on our area’s U.S Representative, is important for electoral accountability. This does not mean that we are in any way endorsing the rep.; we are merely conveying his actions and stances to the voters of this district.
WILLITS, 1/11/21 — In response to the riot and storming of the Capitol last week, which Democrats are characterizing as an “insurrection,” Rep. Jared Huffman has joined many of his colleagues in calling for a slew of actions to, in his words, “defend our democracy.” Democrats in the House have already moved forward with one big step, introducing articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for the second time. (Read our interview with Rep. Huffman)
Huffman sent a letter to constituents this morning, listing out the various actions he is joining his colleagues in pushing for. In the letter he urges the impeachment and removal of Trump, and a call for Vice-President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. He also asks for reviews into the failures of the Capitol Police in defending the seat of American government from rioters; and an investigation into a delayed response from the National Guard. Other measures include requests to federal law enforcement to investigate and prosecute the rioters and right-wing extremists.
Perhaps most unusual is a call for “A resolution to sanction and remove lawmakers who supported the insurrection under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.” The 14th Amendment, one of the “Reconstruction amendments,” was passed after the Civil War and includes several provisions to protect the recently freed former slaves. However, it also includes certain provisions dealing with other hang-overs from the Civil War, including a clause in Section 3, which states, “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress…who…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion…” This provision was intended to bar former Confederate politicians from being elected to federal office.
Prominent members of the Congress, including Huffman, are now saying that that Republican lawmakers who attempted to subvert the confirmation of the election could be removed under this section. This procedure has been used rarely since Reconstruction. One of the last times was in 1919 when Congress voted not to seat a Socialist Party elected by Wisconsin voters.
Around midday House Democrats took the unprecedented step of introducing articles of impeachments a second time against President Donald Trump. The articles are lengthy, and include boilerplate on Constitutional standards, as well as justifications, and explanations. But the meat of the articles reads:
“In his conduct while President of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, provide, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States, in that…”
Here is the note from Huffman:
It has been a traumatic week for America. The actions taken to incite insurrection at the Capitol last week demand accountability. Many of you have reached out asking what steps I am taking to defend our democracy and hold President Trump accountable, so I’d like to share with you this update on my recent actions.
I have joined:
- Articles of Impeachment that I expect to vote on this week, which were introduced in the House today along with 213 colleagues.
- A resolution calling for invoking the 25th Amendment to immediately remove Trump from office. We attempted to pass this resolution by unanimous consent today, however House Republicans objected. In the upcoming days we will hold a recorded vote to pass this resolution.
- A letter calling on Department of Justice to charge perpetrators.
- A resolution to sanction and remove lawmakers who supported the insurrection under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
- A letter calling for investigation into why Capitol Police allowed rioters to enter the Capitol, while peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters were met with militarized presence.
- A letter calling for inquiry into the National Guard’s delayed response.
- A letter urging that Congress remain in session to address the assault on our democracy.
- A letter calling for the creation of an independent commission to investigate the security breach and United States Capitol Police failures.
- A letter to the FBI on the role of online extremism in the insurrection.
To track my efforts as your representative, please subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As I continue my important work for the people of California’s Second District, please don’t hesitate to contact my office for assistance if you are in need.
Thank you, and stay well,
Member of Congress