Senator Bob Casey speaks out on Capitol riots

Written by on January 15, 2021

Senator Bob Casey speaks out on Capitol riots

 Senator Bob Casey. Jose Luis Magana / AP Photo

For the first time in the history of the country, this week, an American president was impeached for the second time.  

To learn what happens next, WLVR’s Hayden Mitman on Jan. 14 spoke with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to discuss the upcoming process and his experience on Jan. 6.

Listen to the interview.

Hayden Mitman:

What happened last week? I know you were in the Capitol during this siege. What was it like going through that?

Sen. Bob Casey:

“I think it was a terrible day for the United States Capitol for members of Congress, their staff, and people that work in the building. But it was also a really bad day for the country. I think if Capitol police had not responded as they did, you would have had a number of members of Congress killed and many more badly injured. And then probably a third group would have been hostages, so that’s disturbing enough.”

Q: But what about within Congress itself? There are credible stories of elected officials actively participating or at least supporting the people that came into the Capitol that day. How do we, as a country, come back together? 

Casey:

“Look, there has to be accountability. I’ve said that you can’t have justice without accountability. Part of that is just accountability imposed upon those in Congress, both House and Senate, who perpetuated a lie by voting for the objections. I think they should be censured, and that’s a lot of members. But if someone participated directly in efforts to target another member of Congress, that has to be prosecuted criminally.” 

Q: Were you ever concerned for your safety? 

Casey:

“I guess the one moment where I thought we were really at risk was when we were leaving the chamber. I thought if this chamber is not secure and we have to leave, immediately, we’re probably at risk. It crossed my mind that some of us could be shot, but obviously, it didn’t reach that point.”

Q: We have a twice-impeached president. That’s never happened before. You’re part of a Senate that’s going to be doing something that ever been done. It’s unprecedented. What does it mean to you to be part of this? And what kind of weight do the decisions that you’re going to be making have on this country? 

Casey: 

The Senate can’t avoid its responsibility. We have a constitutional obligation. It’s not optional to take those articles and deal with them. We don’t know how that will occur or when it will occur. But if it does go into the post Jan. 20 time frame, I think we could deal with this in a matter of days on Jan 21, 22, or 23. I never thought we’d be dealing with another impeachment proceeding in less than less than a year . But that’s what fate has imposed on us.”

Q: What would you like to see happen personally with this president? Has he committed crimes because of inciting this mob? 

Casey: 

“I have an obligation to listen to the evidence, but I don’t think there’s any question that the actions he took, the things he did and did not do, constitute an impeachable offense. I learned a lot since that day about how close many of us were to either being killed or injured or captured. But what keeps coming back to me is that this president, by his words and his actions–in a matter of days–was able to radicalize a group of Americans to storm the capital and many of them were saying three words, “Hang Mike Pence!” It’s hard to comprehend that the president, through his actions, was able to radicalize a group of Americans to commit murder against the life of his governing partner.

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