Reps. Bobby Rush (D-1st) and Robin Kelly (D-2nd) voted with a bipartisan majority of House colleagues to impeach President Donald Trump for an unprecedented second time for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol in Washington last week.
House leaders say they will transmit the charge to the Senate immediately, though outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will not conduct a trial in the upper chamber before President-elect Joe Biden (D) takes office on Jan. 20.
If convicted, however, senators could still ban Trump from ever holding federal elected office again.
Rush and Kelly explained their extraordinary votes in statements.
“Today, I once again faced the prospect of voting on impeaching Donald Trump," said Rush. "This responsibility — which is vested in the House of Representatives by the U.S. Constitution — is one that I approach with a full understanding of the seriousness of the situation and its role in our history.
“Donald Trump’s seditious statements last week led to a violent insurrection aimed at overthrowing a democratically elected, co-equal branch of the U.S. Government. While we are fortunate that this attempted coup failed, we cannot allow its perpetrators and instigators to walk freely, without facing any repercussion.
“As an honorably discharged veteran and a Black man in America, I fully understand the underlying motives that facilitated these seditionists on our democracy and that these acts of treason must be forcibly addressed.
“That is why, today, I voted in favor of impeachment. I now call on my colleagues in the U.S. Senate to recognize the extraordinary nature of the current situation and immediately convene and take up this article of impeachment and, more importantly, remove Donald Trump from office. He has lost the privilege of public office and should be prevented from ever serving again.”
Said Kelly, who represents East Hyde Park: “The president’s actions amount to treason. Donald Trump will go down in history as the only president in history to be impeached twice. He has brought eternal shame upon himself and disgraced the office of the presidency. He incited a deadly insurrection against the American government to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
"Today, truth has triumphed over the blatant lies of this president and his enablers who sought to delegitimize a free and fair election. I am proud to have voted to expel this president from office. He is a clear and present danger to our nation. Only impeachment and conviction will stop him from inflicting further damage to our democracy."
Rep. Danny Davis (D), who represents most of North Kenwood, parts of Bronzeville and Englewood, downtown, the West Side and some western suburbs in Washington, spoke of his decision to impeach the president from the House floor.
"I have heard from the people of the 7th District from Illinois," he said. "They have told me what to do. They have said, 'Impeach this president. Impeach this president, and do it now.' I will follow their instructions and vote yes to impeach this president."