More than 370 Democratic congressional aides have signed onto an open letter appealing to senators to convict former President Donald Trump for inciting a violent “attack on our workplace” that threatened the peaceful transition of power and left one of their co-workers dead.
“On January 6, the former President broke America’s 230-year legacy of the peaceful transition of power when he incited a mob to disrupt the counting of electoral college votes,” the staffers wrote in the letter first obtained by The New York Times. “The attack on our workplace was inspired by lies told by the former president and others about the results of the election in a baseless, months-longe effort to reject votes lawfully cast by the American people.”
The public appeal from the aides lays out, through firsthand accounts, how many of its signatories had sheltered under desks, barricaded themselves in offices or watched on TV as their own bosses and colleagues “fled for their lives.”
“As congressional employees, we don’t have a vote on whether to convict Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the violent attack at the Capitol, but our senators do,” they wrote. “And for our sake, and the sake of the country, we ask that they vote to convict the former president and bar him from ever holding office again.”
The letter comes days before the Senate’s impeachment trial and included among its signatories press secretaries, schedulers, committee staff members and advisers from the House and Senate. They included Drew Hammill, a deputy chief of staff for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as communications aides closely associated with lawmakers who have been involved with Trump’s impeachments.
According to the Times, those organizing the letter had invited support from Republican aides, but ultimately none signed on. The absence of Republican aides from the letter’s signatories follows retribution leveled against some of their bosses who have received death threats and been censured by their party back home, for voting to impeach Trump.
Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer who was among a group of five people who died after being bludgeoned by rioters, was remembered fondly in the letter as “one of our co-workers who guards and greets us every day.”
“The use of violence and lies to overturn an election is not worthy of debate,” the staffers wrote, pleading for Trump’s conviction. “Either you stand with the republic or against it.”
Read the congresional aides’ full open letter to senators below: