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Politics

Angus King Backs Impeachment, Saying Trump Could Still Harm National Security Before Inauguration

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Senate Television via AP
In this image from video, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, speaks as the Senate reconvenes to debate the objection to confirm the Electoral College Vote from Arizona, after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine on Tuesday added his support for impeaching President Donald Trump, saying in a statement that the president is a “danger to the Republic” and blaming him for inciting the mob that went on to storm the Capitol.

Trump will leave office upon the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden next week, but King described the president as an “intemperate” and “impulsive person” who could still do further harm to national security and the safety of Americans.

King also blamed Trump for repeatedly riling his supporters with baseless claims about a stolen election, as he did at last week’s rally in Washington, D.C., that ultimately led to a pro-Trump mob breaching the Capitol.

“These blatant lies, amplified by Congressional enablers who seemed all-too-willing to neglect their oath for short-term political gain, have caused millions of Americans to lose faith in our elections — the beating heart of our democratic system,” King said. “This crisis built until Jan. 6, when President Trump incited a frenzied crowd to head to the Capitol to ‘fight much harder’ and ‘show strength,’ while his top surrogate in this effort, Rudy Giuliani, took to the same stage to call for ‘trial by combat.’ A short time later, the crowd followed their marching orders by invading the Capitol brandishing zip ties, using the American flag on a flagpole as a weapon, and leading to several deaths — including at least one Capitol Police Officer.

“Let’s start with this clear and obvious fact: Donald Trump’s campaign to undermine our democratic system is the single most irresponsible act ever committed by a United States President in our history. He must be held accountable,” he said.

King, who was not available for an interview, also blamed Congressional Republicans for enabling the president’s behavior.

King joins Democratic U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden of Maine in supporting impeachment.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins has declined to comment, citing her role as a potential juror in a Senate trial.

The House is set to vote on Wednesday on a single article of impeachment that accuses Trump of inciting an insurrection.