‘We told you so,’ Rep. Cedric Richmond tells Republicans defending Trump during second impeachment proceeding

In his final House floor speech, Richmond scoffs at GOP calls for ‘unity’

By: - January 13, 2021 12:53 pm

In this file photo from February 2018, Rep. Cedric Richmond speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond said “We told you so” to his Republican colleagues in a 1-minute speech from the House floor supporting a second impeachment of President Donald Trump.  Richmond, a Democrat who represents Louisiana’s Second Congressional District, is soon to leave Congress to work as senior advisor and director of public engagement for President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, and he said that Wednesday’s speech will be his last from the floor of the House.

Agreeing with the accusation listed in the Article of Impeachment that Trump incited insurrection and helped set in motion a Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol that directly caused five deaths, Richmond rejected as “foolishness” calls for unity from his Republican colleagues. He also suggested that some of them bear responsibility with Trump for the ransacking of the Capitol.

Richmond was given 1 minute to speak. What follows are his remarks in full.

“I rise today in my last floor speech in this body to do what I was sworn to do on the first day: to protect and defend the Constitution.

“President Trump put the domestic terrorists on notice by saying, ‘Stand back, and stand by.’ He then summoned them to D.C., directed them to march on the Capitol, and then he sat back and watched the insurrection.

“Some of my colleagues (some of which may well be co-conspirators) in their latest attempt to placate and please this unfit president suggest that we shouldn’t punish Trump for his actions in order to unify the country. That is the climax of foolishness.

“Let me suggest to them: Stand up, man up, woman up and defend this Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic — including Donald J. Trump. In the first impeachment, Republicans said we didn’t need to impeach him because he learned his lesson — so no need to remove him.

“Well, we said if we didn’t remove him he would do it again. Simply put, we told you so. Richmond out.”

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Jarvis DeBerry
Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry, editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later NOLA.com) as a crime and courts reporter, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor. He was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service after that team’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly flood that followed. In addition to the shared Pulitzer, DeBerry has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association for best trial coverage and awards from the New Orleans Press Club, the Louisiana/ Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists for his columns. A collection of his Times-Picayune columns, “I Feel to Believe” was published by the University of New Orleans Press in September 2020.

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