In the wake of the days of arguments at ex-President Donald Trump’s recent Senate impeachment trial, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has clearly established his belief that Trump is guilty. He was one of seven Republican Senators who voted to convict Trump at the conclusion of the trial after the House originally impeached him on a charge of incitement of insurrection following the Trump-inspired rioting at the Capitol on January 6. On that day, supporters of the then-president attempted to forcibly stop the formal Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.
Sen. Ben Sasse: Trump's lies caused this.
"I have a really hard historical time coming up with anything analogous in terms of an Article II attack on the constitutional order. That is an unbelievably egregious attack on a constitutional system." https://t.co/XXXYSNrCDu
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 15, 2021
In a statement that Sasse issued around the time of the final vote at Trump’s trial, he said, in part, as follows:
‘President Trump lied that he ‘won the election by a landslide.’ He lied about widespread voter fraud, spreading conspiracy theories despite losing 60 straight court challenges, many of his losses handed down by great judges he nominated. He tried to intimidate the Georgia secretary of state to ‘find votes’ and overturn that state’s election. He publicly and falsely declared that Vice President Pence could break his constitutional oath and simply declare a different outcome. The president repeated these lies when summoning his crowd — parts of which were widely known to be violent — to Capitol Hill to intimidate Vice President Pence and Congress into not fulfilling our constitutional duties. Those lies had consequences, endangering the life of the vice president and bringing us dangerously close to a bloody constitutional crisis. Each of these actions are violations of a president’s oath of office.’
In the same statement, Sasse broadly condemned political violence and spoke of a perceived need to strengthen the standing of Congress as an institution. If members of Congress aren’t willing to support impeachment proceedings against an ex-president over an obvious connection between their rhetoric and a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, then what are they willing to stand against?
Speaking to National Review journalist Charles Cooke, Sasse added that he considers the January 6 incident and Trump’s incitement to be “an unbelievably egregious attack on a constitutional system.” Discussing the violence at the Capitol, Sasse also observed that “Trump’s lying about the election outcome is a root cause of this entire event.” For months, Trump spread the dangerously deranged lie that the 2020 presidential election was rigged for Joe Biden, and on January 6, the Capitol rioters operated under the pretense of this exact idea.