A Buckeye football legend known for “The Catch” against rival Michigan, dropped the ball according to Trump Republicans when he and nine other GOP representatives voted with 222 Democrats in the U.S. House to approve a second impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.
Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) released a statement on Wednesday explaining his support of a Democrat initiated impeachment – a single article alleging incitement of insurrection.
“The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution,” Gonzalez said.
His statement continues “[d]uring the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present.”
“When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6 including the President’s lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment.”
See my full statement on impeachment below. pic.twitter.com/pBBYRI2RUP
— Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (@RepAGonzalez) January 13, 2021
In the days following the Capitol protests that tragically turned violent and deadly, the timeline pieced together through videos, as reported by the New York Times, shows that 20 minutes before Trump’s speech ended people in the crowd started to get physical.
“[Y]ou’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength,” President Trump said during his January 6 speech.
However, the part that has been omitted by most major news outlets is the statement that follows just seconds later when Trump said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
The entire transcript of Trump’s speech can be found by clicking here.
Gonzalez’s “yes” vote for impeachment was also cast by Republicans Liz Cheney (R-WY-At Large), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3), John Katko (R-NY-24), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16), Peter Meijer (R-MI-3), Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4), Tom Rice (R-SC-7), Fred Upton (R-MI-6), and David G. Valadao (R-CA-21).
Four Republicans did not vote: Kay Granger (R-TX-12), Andy Harris (R-MD-1), Gregory F. Murphy (R-NC-3) and Daniel Webster (R-FL-11).
The impeachment resolution was sponsored by David Cicilline (D-RI-1) and cosponsored by 217 other Representatives. Three of those cosponsors alleging Trump incited violence are Ohioans – Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9) and Tim Ryan (D-OH-13).
The Ohio Star reported on Beatty’s violence during summer protests in downtown Columbus when she took a swipe at a police officer. The video is posted below (15 seconds into the video Beatty can be seen with a dark shirt, red mask and white hair).
A source provided this video to @ColleenNBC4 showing the incident that resulted in Rep. Joyce Beatty, City Council President Shannon Hardin and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce getting pepper sprayed Saturday morning. https://t.co/ogqPrajniZ pic.twitter.com/19f1xbC53m
— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) May 30, 2020
Gonzalez shed more light on what drove his vote when he agreed to talk with Cleveland radio icon Bob Frantz on Thursday morning.
“When I re-watched the speech and when I see things ‘fight like hell’ and ‘you have to fight’ and ‘you have to go and take back your country’ and ‘you have to stop this and go in and intervene’ – there were speeches throughout the day, not just President Trump. This isn’t solely his responsibility, not even close. The ultimate responsibility is for those who made those terrible decisions amongst the crowd,” Gonzalez told Frantz when asked what specific words Trump used to incite insurrection.
Then Frantz played an audio clip containing short snippets from speeches by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (ID-VT), U.S. Senator and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12).
“When our ideals and fundamental values are being attacked, do we retreat or do we fight? I say we fight. And I intend to fight. To fight for ideals. I intend to fight,” Kamala Harris said in her clip.
Sanders said. “are you willing to stand together and fight for those people who are struggling? Are you willing to fight?”
“Because you don’t get what you don’t fight for. I am in this fight,” said Warren in her snippet.
Finally, Pelosi was heard saying “this is a fight for our country, for the oath we take to protect and defend the Constitution.”
Gonzalez and Frantz verbally sparred for about 30 minutes. During that time, Frantz asked a series of meaty questions such as:
- Were you aware before your vote of the landmark Supreme Court Case, Brandenburg v. Ohio, that set the bar very high with respect to speeches and incitement – a speaker has to direct or command listeners to commit violence?
- Was the Constitutionally required due process hearing held where evidence was presented and the President had a chance to defend himself before you sent the issue on to the Senate for trial?
- What evidence was presented to you before the vote that gave you the ability to make such a judgment?
- How is asking hundreds of thousands to come the D.C. to listen to fiery speeches, chant their chants and demand that Congress hear their voices any different than a Pro-Life rally, Pro-Choice rally, equal rights and civil liberty rally, or a protest of the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice?
- You say the goal of the President was to overturn the election but on January 6, 2017 Democrats challenged the certification of electors – do you agree with what U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says that Senators Hawley and Cruz, who both spoke against certification, should be removed?
- If you don’t think they should be removed, why should the President be removed?
The answers to these questions and the full dialogue can be heard below.
Frantz claimed a rush to judgment by Gonzalez who does not believe that a due process hearing was required before sending the article of impeachment along to the Senate for a trial.
Frantz also challenged Gonzalez on the matter of whether Trump’s speech and actions weeks before rise to the charge of inciting – citing, again, the landmark Supreme Court case (Brandenburg v. Ohio) that appears to fly in the face of Gonzalez’s argument.
Gonzalez, closed the interview by saying:
Let me tell you this – every single person listening, every conservative listening right now, we have got to come together at some point. We have to, and I know we’re divided right now, but we have Joe Biden coming into office in a couple days, we have a Democratic Senate, we have a Democrat controlled House, we are going to have to be unified pushing back on the agenda that we know is so bad for this country.
I know I took the vote that everybody can’t stand, I get that. But the priority moving forward for me, for my office, I hope every conservative across the country, and certainly listening to this radio program, is to make sure that we stay together to prevent D.C. statehood, to prevent socialized medicine, to prevent all these crazy things that have been campaigned on by liberal politicians for the last two, three, four years.
I will stand in the breach for us as long as I’m blessed to have the position that I do. You don’t have to worry about that; and I get that we’re on different sides of this, but I sincerely will say this – you don’t have to worry about that with me. You don’t have to worry about whether I will stand up to defend our liberties to make sure we stop being censored, to make sure all these things don’t happen. That will be my mission.
Frantz responded to Gonzalez by saying, “you’ve got guts for coming on the day after the vote because you know a lot of people are angry and you know you’re going to get challenged here. I do appreciate you coming on.
I’m going to say this – I’m going to question that commitment to liberty you just made – on all those other issues. Because, to me, the ultimate testimony to liberty is the Constitution and yesterday you voted to deny Donald Trump his constitutional right to due process.”
“President Trump must be removed from office for inciting yesterday’s violent insurrection,” is how U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sees Trump through the lens of January 6.
The Ohio Star reached out to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) and asked whether he supports impeachment. DeWine’s Press Secretary Dan Tierney responded through email:
“Governor DeWine believes all Americans should be looking for ways to come together, no matter who one voted for. The impeachment is a distraction from that. Governor DeWine remains concerned impeachment could divide this country further when what we must do is unite to fight COVID, continue our economic recovery, and heal as a nation.”
According to a report, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rejected pleas from Democrats to call the upper chamber back early. Consequently, a trial in the Senate will not begin until the next presidency.
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