All three members of Delaware’s congressional delegation are safe following the breach of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists Wednesday afternoon. Two are calling for the President to resign or be removed.
Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware) believes the President should be removed from office "as quickly as possible," according to spokesman Andrew Donnelly.
"She’s long believed he’s unfit for office and now believes he poses a clear and present danger to the country," Donnelly said by email Wednesday night.
Some members of Congress called for a second impeachment of President Trump and expulsion of lawmakers they said incited the insurrection Wednesday afternoon. Delaware’s senior senator, Tom Carper, at first dismissed these ideas.
“The idea of taking the time to try to impeach him, the idea of trying to expel members of the House or Senate for their efforts to protect the President and continue this fiction he’s created— I just think we need to turn the page,” Sen. Carper (D-Delaware) said in an interview late Wednesday afternoon.
But by Wednesday night, Carper was calling for Trump to “resign immediately.”
“If he refuses, then we must find ways to safeguard our democracy for the next 14 days and remove him from office,” Carper said in a statement to the media while debates over the electoral count continued on the Senate floor.
“It’s not enough to simply ‘turn the temperature down’,” Carper added. “My Republican colleagues must unequivocally reject the conspiracy theories and extremism that fueled this attack on our peaceful transition of power. Tell the American people the truth. Choose the world’s greatest democracy over Donald Trump.”
Carper noted Wednesday afternoon that Democrats will hold a narrow majority in both chambers of Congress—and said they’ll need to work with Republicans to put the pandemic in the “rear-view mirror.”
Carper compared this point in history to the period after the Civil War.
“We need a Lincoln-like person to pull our frayed society together—our frayed democracy together,” Carper said. “Joe Biden is that kind of leader; he’s a uniter, not a divider.”
Carper said Trump is the most to blame for the violence.
“This president, and those who have continued to push the conspiracy theories to which he clings, are complicit in creating an environment that has led to the violence and destruction we saw here today,” he said in his statement late Wednesday.
Staff in the office of Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) did not respond to emailed questions about whether Coons would support a push to impeach the President again or an invocation of the 25th Amendment to force his removal from office.
In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday night, Coons stopped short of explicitly calling for either course of action, but condemned the president’s actions.
“President Trump has abandoned his post," he said. "He does not deserve to be president any longer. And he poses a real and present threat to the future of our democracy.”
Blunt Rochester could be seen sheltering and praying on a balcony of the House floor in a Politico livestream Wednesday afternoon.
“Peace in the land, peace in this country,” she could be heard saying. “Protect all of our brothers and sisters in this Congress, Lord.”
The Congresswoman thanked people who reached out to her with prayers and concerns on Twitter around 4 p.m., as the situation continued to unfold.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out with their prayers and concerns. I am safe and in a secure location.
— Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (@RepLBR) January 6, 2021
Sen. Chris Coons said in a statement on social media around the same time that there were some “scary and chaotic moments” when he and others were evacuated from the Senate by Capitol police.
Coons said he never thought he would see a president “egging on protestors and allies in the Congress to seek to overturn an election.”
“We need to come together and secure our democracy,” Coons wrote. “I remain confident we will return to the Senate tonight and complete our work.”
I’m safe as are the senators and staff. There were some scary and chaotic moments when the Capitol was breached by protestors and the Capitol police evacuated us from the Senate.
— Chris Coons (@ChrisCoonsforDE) January 6, 2021
Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings called the riot at the Capitol “treason” in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“We are witnessing a despicable, unprecedented, and deranged insurrection in our nation’s Capitol,” she said. “People have been hurt and more will be, due in no small part to the actions of Trump, and some Republican officials and bystanders, who have cynically stoked the flames of conspiracy and sedition for months. Our actions have consequences and the time for excuses has come and gone.”
This story has been updated.