Hawaii Democratic Rep. Ed Case said today he took no pleasure in voting to impeach President Donald Trump, but that the president must face consequences for his role in the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Trump was impeached by the U.S. House for a historic second time today, charged with “incitement of insurrection.” The House voted this afternoon 232-197 to impeach Trump.
Hawaii’s newest member of Congress, Rep. Kai Kahele also joined Case in voting to remove Trump from office.
Before the impeachment debate, Case discussed the riots and the upcoming vote this morning on Spotlight Hawaii.
“It is a solemn day and a sad day for me. I never came to Congress to impeach a president, and that today I’m gonna impeach a president twice in the space of just over a year, and that’s sad for our country. But it has to be done,” Case said this morning in his D.C. office ahead of the impeachment vote. “I think the president incited this to happen. I think that his intent was at least to disrupt, if not to prevent, the proceedings of Congress to certify the election results and for my purposes that’s a violation of his oath of office. It’s a violation of the Constitution.”
Case called last Wednesday an “emotional day,” as he described his experience of being in the Capitol as it came under attack. Due to coronavirus restrictions, Case watched the proceedings from his office instead of on the House floor.
When rioters broke through and stormed the building, Case said he and other House members were told to shelter in place and turn off the lights to give the illusion of empty offices.
Case also discussed the latest round of CARES Act funding for Hawaii. Case believes more federal money will be on the way under the incoming Biden-Harris administration. He also expressed concerns and frustration at the slow pace of vaccine distribution in Hawaii.
Despite potential safety concerns, Case said he plans to attend Biden’s inauguration next week. He said that canceling will send the wrong message.
Case said now is a time for healing and unity. Case said he is focused on representing all of his constituents, not just those who agree with his political beliefs.
“I don’t think it’s ever been more important for me or for my colleagues in elected office to try to overcome division wherever we can and to truly listen,” he said.“Let’s start to listen to each other again. Let’s tone down the rhetoric.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Spotlight Hawaii, which shines a light on issues affecting Hawaii, airs live 10:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Join Ryan Kalei Tsuji and Yunji de Nies this month for a conversation with guests. Click here to watch previous conversations.