GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. Happy Monday!
MCGOVERN Q&A: ‘THE RIGHT THING IS TO IMPEACH’ — Rep. Jim McGovern, chair of the House Rules Committee, will have a key role when the House begins impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, which will likely happen this week. I spoke with McGovern on Sunday about his experience when the mob stormed the Capitol last week, and his thoughts on the final days of the Trump administration. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
A new video shows how close you were to the mob as it was breaking into the Speaker’s Lobby, and where a woman was shot. What was that like?
It never occurred to me that a mob could gain entrance into the United States Capitol. I was on the House floor. I wasn’t watching TV, I didn’t see what was happening outside. I was one of the last people to leave because I was in the chair. I walked out, and that’s the video that you saw. I looked to my left and I saw these doors barricaded with chairs and tables. And I saw this angry mob. They were banging on the glass door and the glass began to crack. I was really angry that a group of homegrown, fascist domestic terrorists would do something like this. I was furious at Donald Trump for instigating this. I’ll be very frank with you, I am pissed at a lot of my colleagues on the Republican side, who have for way too long given oxygen to these conspiracy theories.
You’re in Washington waiting for impeachment proceedings to begin. Explain what your role will be as chair of the House Rules Committee.
Everything will go through us. We will set the terms of how this will be brought up and how it will be debated. There may be other resolutions that we debate in addition to an impeachment resolution. Everything that goes to the floor comes to us. We’re probably the only committee that will discuss this matter before it goes to the floor.
This will be your second time impeaching Trump. How do you see your place in history?
I think in terms of acting in a way that my kids, and hopefully someday my grandkids and great grandkids, will think I did the right thing. At this moment, the right thing is to impeach him. Even if for some reason the Senate doesn’t act, nonetheless, he should be impeached. I’m concerned he’ll start a war with Iran or he’ll do something crazy. There aren’t enough people around him who have the courage to stop him from doing something stupid. I’ve come to understand there are a lot of cowards in Washington, D.C.
President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20. What would happen if the House looked at the short timeline and decided not to impeach Trump?
It sends a terrible signal to not only the people in this country, but to people all around the world. If we do nothing, this will happen again because there will be no consequence for a president, and those around him, who actively pushed a coup attempt to basically delegitimize the will of the people.
What do you think about Twitter banning Trump?
I’m glad that they did, to be honest with you. But they did so in the aftermath of an attempted coup. You can remove the liar, but not the lie he told. That’s the challenge right now.
After Trump leaves office, some people will still believe his unfounded claims that the election was stolen. How do you get everyone on the same page?
Republicans have to step up. I’m not saying that in a partisan way. They have to acknowledge clearly to all the people out there who believe in conspiracy theories that these were free and fair elections. Make an attempt to move away from Trumpism. They need to deradicalize their supporters. I am a liberal Democrat. Me telling Trump supporters that what they’re saying is not fact-based is not going to be terribly convincing. I’ll try. But I think that the thoughtful Republicans are going to have to step up and retake their party.
Do you feel safe attending the inauguration?
I’m here to do my job and I’m not gonna let anybody scare me away. I’ve been to every inauguration in person, including Donald Trump’s. I hated being there, but I thought it was the right thing to do. I’m not going to miss this one. I’m looking forward to Jan. 20 because I believe it will usher in a new era. One of the casualties of the Trump administration is that decency has been just scrubbed from our national politics. I’m not sure how much longer I want to be here, but I want good people to want to run for office. We’re going to have to do a lot of work to rebuild the image of being an officeholder.
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– “Source: BPD Commissioner Gross Prepares Likely Run For Mayor Of Boston, WBZ: “With the nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Joe Biden’s Labor Secretary, the race for his old office is heating up. … According to WBZ’s NightSide host Dan Rea, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross could be next to throw his hat in the ring.”
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– “Top U.S. House Democrat says House prepared to impeach Trump,” Reuters: “U.S. House Democrats are prepared to move forward with impeachment proceedings against Republican President Donald Trump as early as next week following his supporters’ siege at the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark said on Friday.”
– “Rep. Seth Moulton: Republicans Lack ‘Courage’ To Impeach Trump,” by Hannah Uebele, GBH News: “Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton is calling on his fellow U.S. Representatives to impeach President Donald Trump if Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet refuse to remove him from office. This comes after the insurrection of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. by pro-Trump extremists on Wednesday.”
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– “Massachusetts restaurant owner facing criticism for attending D.C. riots, calling event ‘peaceful,’” by Douglas Hook, MassLive.com: “‘I am at the Capitol Building. Zero violence and women and children all around. This is a peaceful protest.’ This was how Jeff Eller, a Massachusetts restaurant owner who traveled to Washington, D.C. this week, described the riots that culminated in pro-Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol.”
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY – to former GOP candidate for Senate Kevin O’Connor.
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