PALM DESERT (CNS) – Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, Friday voiced support for the effort to have President Donald Trump removed from office, accusing him of inciting his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol.
“Donald Trump has once again proven that he is an immediate threat to our democracy and the Constitution. As a result, I strongly support his immediate impeachment and removal from office,” Ruiz said in a statement.
“As an elected official, I have sworn an oath to protect our democracy. I must fulfill that oath by supporting the impeachment of Donald Trump. Although his term is near its end, it is clear that every moment he remains in office, America is at risk. He must be removed immediately.”
As an elected official, I have sworn an oath to protect our Democracy. I must fulfill that oath by supporting the impeachment of Donald Trump. Although his term is near its end, it's clear that every moment he remains in office, America is at risk. He must be removed immediately. pic.twitter.com/OjuY5gQv2K
— Raul Ruiz (@RepRaulRuizMD) January 8, 2021
Momentum to impeach the president continued to grow on Friday, with Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives eyeing a possible vote on an impeachment resolution as early as Monday, according to media reports.
The attack on the U.S. Capitol occurred Wednesday as Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the Nov. 3 election following weeks of unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud by Trump and his lawyers.
At Trump’s urging, thousands of his supporters descended on Washington, D.C., that morning for a “Stop the Steal” rally. The president addressed the massive crowd, repeating his claims of the election being stolen through fraud, and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them “you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
After his speech, the crowd took to the streets and advanced on the Capitol complex, engaging Capitol Police and storming their way into the building.
A San Diego woman — identified as 35-year-old Air Force veteran and ardent Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt — was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as she and other rioters stormed the building. Three others died of medical emergencies, and Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died Thursday night from injuries sustained during the rioting.
“In the words of Republican Senator Mitt Romney, this was `an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States.’ The criminals who broke into the Capitol were inspired, directed and encouraged by Donald Trump and the members of Congress who aid and abet him,” Ruiz said.
The congressman described in an interview with reporters Wednesday how he was sitting in the House chamber when rioters approached the chamber doors. He said he looked on as police locked the doors and began shouting instructions to lawmakers, warning them to “be prepared to take cover.”
“Apparently tear gas was deployed,” Ruiz said. “So members (were told) to open the gas masks under the seats.”
Even after he and other lawmakers were escorted to safety, Ruiz said he only truly came to terms with the gravity of the situation when he received a phone call from one particular person.
“I actually knew that things were getting out of hand when my mother called me asking if I was OK,” he said. “If she knew, I figured things were getting out of hand outside.”
Ruiz, a trained physician, said he reassured his mother of his safety, along with his wife, and then turned his attention elsewhere.
“I prayed,” he said. “I prayed to God. There were other members who started praying to find strength.”