Almost two years ago, I spoke to a group of engaged citizens at the State Capitol, on President’s Day, to talk about an affront to our constitutional separation of powers.  The President had just announced the illegal diversion of funds to build a border wall.  We challenged that railroading of Congress’s power in court and, as has occurred repeatedly over the last four years, the courts checked the illegal action of this President.

Today, this President continues to abuse his power, and act without regard for the law, for his office, or for decency towards others.  This has led to an attack on our democratic republic itself, to the theft and vandalism of public property, to the desecration of the United States Capitol, and to the deaths of five Americans.  We are left with no other option: this President must be removed from office.

These last two years, our office acted again and again to defend the Rule of Law and challenge this President’s disregard for our Constitution.  From illegally shuffling taxpayer funds from our military to fund his border wall to illegally ending DACA to the abuse of the Postal Service to attempts to overturn the results of the Presidential election.

This past week, this President once again abused his office, acting illegally and dangerously.  And for what?  For the sole reason of advancing his own political and personal interests.  

And let’s not forget that, over this past week, his unlawful actions weren’t just limited to the violence on Wednesday.  Just days earlier, we learned of his calls to Georgia election officials, pressuring them to commit illegal acts and find enough votes to overturn his defeat in that state.  He refused to do so.  Let us always give credit to public officials who do the right thing, regardless of party.   Closer to home, former Republican Speaker of the Colorado House Russ George just condemned Lauren Boebert for her failure of leadership and actions that contributed to the attack on the Capitol.

This week marked a new low from this White House, with the unprecedented and previously unthinkable actions of a President urging his supporters to interfere with the operation of another branch of government as it certified a presidential election.  Those rioters—who desecrated the hallowed halls of the Capitol, destroyed government property, assaulted Capitol staff, and even murdered a Capitol Police officer—must be held accountable for their actions.  And the President who egged them on must be held accountable as well—and not allowed to further harm our nation.  

If the Vice President and Cabinet won’t invoke the 25th Amendment to protect the country when the president is unfit, Congress must act and condemn his abuse of power and undermining of our Constitution.  It is important that the voice of “We The People” be heard at this critical moment in our history.

Going forward, we cannot stop with the condemnation of the abuses of power by our current President.  We must do the work of building up the leadership our nation needs,  rebuilding our democratic institutions, and recommitting ourselves to the Rule of Law and equal justice for all.  Let us come together to fight for America.  Let us follow the examples set by Presidents Washington and Lincoln, civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and legislators John Lewis and Stacey Abrams.  

Thanks to the voters of Georgia, particularly in the African American community, we now add Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof to the list of leaders who will help rebuild America.  And I sure do like the sound of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Thanks to the work of so many here, and across the United States, the U.S. Senate can be a force for—and not a brake on—progress.  

President’s Day will be soon upon us again and this year we will have a new President and Vice President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  As we open a new chapter in our history, let us be guided by the example of President Lincoln.  Lincoln called on us to heed the voices of our better angels.  In his Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln uttered these powerful words that resonate today: “with malice toward none; with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds.”  We all know we have much work to do to rebuild and renew our democratic republic.  By doing that work, we can realize Lincoln’s vision for our democracy—“a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Thank you for your engagement and commitment to our important work ahead.  It is an honor to serve you and work with you.