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'A Moral Reckoning': Connecticut Delegation On The Impeachment Acquittal

Andrew Harnik
Associated Press
People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

As expected, Connecticut’s two U.S. senators joined their Democratic colleagues and seven Republicans in voting to convict former president Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. Because of the necessity to reach a two-thirds majority, the 57-43 vote was insufficient to return a guilty verdict on the charge of having incited the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.In a statement issued after the vote, Sen. Chris Murphy accused Republicans of telling “bald-faced lies” to the American people in the wake of the November election.

"The insurrection at our Capitol was not inevitable,” he went on. “Rather, it was a direct consequence of President Trump’s urging supporters -- over the course of many months and on the very day of the riot -- to overturn the results of a free and fair election. And what did President Trump do when the insurrection was underway? He privately reveled in the coverage.”

Murphy said it was not his wish to hold another impeachment trial, but there was no choice.

“No one wanted to relive the painful and traumatic events of Jan. 6,” he said. “But we had to do so. Without accountability, we simply do not have a democracy.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal tweeted a video of his reaction to the vote, saying that “the trial provides a kind of moral reckoning, a measure of accountability, even if there was no conviction.”

He indicated that he doesn’t believe that the acquittal should draw a line under the events of Jan 6.

“More must be done to stop would-be Trump tyrants in the future from exploiting and inflaming the rage of violent extremists in this country,” he said.

He noted ongoing criminal investigations of the former president, which have begun in New York and Georgia, and said the country must take measures to address and quell the “persistent and lethal threat” of white supremacy.

In an emailed statement, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who represents Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District, relived some of the events of that day, saying it is one she will never forget.

“I struggled to put on my gas mask in the House Chamber to the sound of gunshots and calls for violence and huddled with my Republican and Democratic colleagues as we ran and hid from the insurrectionists,” DeLauro said. “And I will never forget, and history won’t either, that the attack was the result of months of inspiration and a direct call for violence by the former President.”

She noted that the House and Senate votes amounted to the most bipartisan impeachment result in history, with the largest number of Republicans voting to convict, a result she called “damning.”

The 4th District’s Jim Himes gave his reaction in a simple tweet:

Meanwhile Rep. John Larson condemned Republican senators for hiding behind the excuse that the vote was not constitutional, coming as it did after Trump had left office.

“I commend the House Managers for their outstanding job, they made the case,” he said. “I also commend the Republicans who had the gumption to make this the most bipartisan Senate vote ever for impeachment. Now, citizen Trump will face even stronger focus with the condemnation from the Senate Minority Leader himself.”

But Larson also seemed to indicate he has other pressing business to turn his attention to.

“The public should also know, while the Senate proceeded with the trial, the Ways and Means Committee and other House Committees were advancing COVID relief legislation, which is the true focus of the American people,” he said. “This is what I remain focused on.” 

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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