Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) on Tuesday said that she witnessed colleagues leading people on tours of the Capitol in the days prior to the violent riot that overtook the building last Wednesday, calling the walk-throughs “reconnaissance” for the siege.
“We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,” Sherrill said during a livestream on Facebook.
“And so not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material, I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 — a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy; I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress,” she added.
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley writes: “That is an unambiguous allegation of criminal conduct against colleagues. Once she names a member, she could also be the subject of a defamation action … If true, those members could be criminally charged and expelled from the House. Conversely, if Sherrill has no such evidence, she could (and should) face a resolution of censure.”
The comments come as House Democrats prepare to vote Wednesday to impeach President Trump for a second time for the role he played in inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol as lawmakers prepared to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
On Tuesday night, the House passed a resolution calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. Pence has said that he will not take such action.