Several House Democrats who served in the United States military have said that Republican Senators Josh Hawley (MO) and Ted Cruz (TX) – who spearheaded a GOP scheme to nullify the 2020 presidential election – are “traitors to the country.”
That effort was the catalyst behind Wednesday’s domestic terrorist attack on the United States Capitol, which President Donald Trump openly encouraged and endorsed.
“What is our country coming to,” Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA), a former Marine Corps infantry officer and Iraq War veteran, said in an interview with Business Insider. “What is our country coming to, that the greatest democracy the world has ever seen, is under assault from within and inspired by the president of the United States.”
Moulton, most of Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Vice President Mike Pence, were rushed to secure locations as hundreds of rabid Trump supporters stormed the federal government’s legislative headquarters, where lawmakers were in the middle of certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“To be honest, this was nothing compared to what we saw in Iraq, but for many of my colleagues, it was the worst thing they’ve seen,” Moulton said. “I’ve heard one woman say that this was the most frightening day of her life. This is not what members of Congress signed up to do. It’s what I expected as a Marine, but not as a member of Congress.”
Because of Hawley’s and Cruz’s involvement with the plot to usurp democracy, Moulton said that they “absolutely” deserve the blame for Wednesday’s “treasonous” insurrection.
“These are domestic terrorists attempting a coup who were incited and supported by lawless Republicans lawmakers,” Moulton said. “I think they should be censured because we need to make it clear to future lawmakers and future generations of Americans that you will not incite violence against the United States of America. That’s treasonous.”
On Wednesday, Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who also served in Iraq in the Marines, said on MSNBC that Cruz, Hawley, and Trump “are just as bad as those who broke in.” Although the Senators “did not break in with the rioters, and neither did Donald Trump,” Gallego continued, “their words broke the barriers of civility that have really kept the country together for hundreds of years. And they’re just as responsible and they should be ashamed.”
Gallego held no punches in condemning Hawley and Cruz.
“The names of Cruz and Hawley should go down in history next to people like Benedict Arnold and Donald Trump,” Gallego added. “They are just traitors to the country and traitors to the Constitution.”
Colorado Democratic Congressman and former Army Ranger Jason Crow said in an interview with Rolling Stone that his combat instincts kicked in quickly as the angry hoards overran Capitol security.
I called my wife. I told her I loved her and told the kids I loved them and told my wife I might have to fight my way out.
I immediately got into Ranger mode, as I say. I’m going to do everything I can, I’m going to take as much action as I can. I did a double-check of all the doors, made sure they were locked. Escorted the more senior members away from the doors, moving them into a defensive position. Asked folks to take off their member pins so that if the mobs break down the doors, the members would be harder to identify. I took a pen out of my pocket to possibly use as a weapon.
Crow said that the Trump-inspired ambush on the Capitol was the most frightening experience of his life.
“It was horrifying. I’ve seen riots before. I’ve witnessed riots when I was in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know what mobs and riots are capable of,” Crow recalled. “This is the first time in 15 years I was truly afraid for my life and safety in this way.”
The House has drawn up articles of impeachment against Trump – despite there being only 13 days remaining in his first and final term – because Pence has refused to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove the president.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.