McGovern, Neal to attend inauguration; support removing Trump from office



Staff Writer
Published: 1/18/2021 10:11:26 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Just days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, the two congressmen who represent the Valley said they wholeheartedly support President Donald Trump’s impeachment and are resolute in their desire to attend Inauguration Day.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, and Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, were two of the 232 members of Congress to vote for the president’s impeachment, while 197 members voted against.

“If inciting an insurrection isn’t an impeachable offense, then I don’t know what the hell is,” McGovern said.

“I thought he deserved it,” said Neal, who noted that impeachment is a remedy that a “a clear majority in the House of Representatives embraced.”

McGovern was in House chambers while the invasion took place on Jan. 6, and presided over the House before the members’ evacuation from chambers. He was the last representative to leave the chambers, and as he passed through the Speaker’s Lobby, he saw the mob trying to break in.

“I literally saw evil in their eyes,” McGovern said.

Shortly after he left, a woman with the rioters, Ashli Babbitt, was fatally shot while trying to gain access to the Speaker’s Lobby, an area that is directly connected to the House floor. Video shows the mob trying to break in before the shooting.

Babbitt was one of five people killed as a result of the incursion, a number that also includes Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

Neal, meanwhile, spent time during the invasion barricaded in Room H-208 in the Capitol, escaping after tear gas was deployed.

McGovern described those who invaded the capitol as “domestic terrorists” and “homegrown fascists.” And he blamed Trump, who has been falsely claiming that the presidential election was stolen from him, for inciting the mob violence.

This is the second time Trump has been impeached, with his first impeachment trial resulting in an acquittal in February of last year. Trump’s second impeachment was on one article, “Incitement of Insurrection.”

“He incited an angry mob to come to the Capitol to basically overthrow the will of the people,” McGovern said.

Shortly before the invasion, Trump addressed a protest near the White House against Biden’s win, where he reiterated false claims that the election was stolen.

“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said at the rally.

He also said “we’re going to the Capitol,” and suggested that they encourage “weak” Republicans to “take back our country.”

Ten House Republicans joined with 222 Democrats in voting for the president’s impeachment, but McGovern said more would have joined if it had been a secret vote.

“There are a lot of Republicans who are afraid of Donald Trump,” McGovern said.

He also praised the Republicans who did vote to impeach the president. “They put their country ahead of their political party,” the congressman said.

As the impeachment case moves to the Senate, Neal said, “I hope that some of the Republican senators who privately expressed disdain for what happened on Jan. 6 will cast a vote accordingly.”

McGovern said he is pushing for the president to be removed before Biden’s inauguration, expressing the fear that Trump might pardon those who invaded the Capitol or start a war.

“He is a clear and present danger,” he said.

McGovern said he will attend Biden’s inauguration, noting that he’s attended every presidential inauguration since being elected to Congress. Neal also said he would attend.

“I think it’s important to signal to these fascists that they don’t matter,” McGovern said.

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