Two dozen former Republican members of Congress ― including Wayne Gilchrest ― are encouraging their successors to “protect American democracy by impeaching President Donald J. Trump.”
The letter was sent Monday and circulated by the nonpartisan watchdog group Project on Government Oversight.
“For more than 200 years, the peaceful transfer of power has been one of the pillars of American government. Sadly, this tradition has been severely tarnished,” the former members wrote. “There is no excuse for nor defense of a President of the United States to actively orchestrate an insurrection on a separate but coequal branch of government. Surely, the Founders would be sickened by the thought of such actions. As members of the branch that was under attack—not just politically but physically—you must remove the president from office.”
“Congress must send a strong and clear message not just to this president but future presidents that this type of behavior will not be tolerated or accepted,” the letter continued. “Frankly, the message also needs to be made clear to the American people that there is no place in politics for political violence.”
Other signers of the letter include former Virginia representatives Denver Riggleman and Barbara Comstock and former Pennsylvania representatives Charlie Dent and James C. Greenwood.
Gilchrest represented Maryland’s 1st District as a moderate Republican. He lost the Republican primary to now-Rep. Andrew P. Harris in 2008 and went on to endorse Harris’ Democratic opponent Frank Kratovil Jr., who won the election and served one term before losing to Harris in 2010.
Harris has held the seat since.
Gilchrest changed his party affiliation to Democrat in 2019.
The letter was sent on the same day that 71 Democratic members of the Maryland House of Delegates and 13 state senators signed a letter condemning Harris’ comments about unfounded election fraud and calling for him to resign.
In the early morning after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Harris joined other colleagues in continuing to object to the certification of election results from Pennsylvania.
“Rather than recognizing that your words and behavior in office have damaged our democracy, have threatened our Constitution, and have undermined the nation you are sworn to, your response to the attack on our Capitol was to continue to use the same words and behavior,” the lawmakers wrote. “To vote with too many of your colleagues to undermine a free and fair election. To give comfort to the enemies of democracy within our borders and around the world.”
The morning after the vote, Harris defended his response in a public statement.
“I have routinely and consistently rejected violent protests, whether in the case of yesterday, or last summer. Democrats are calling for unity, yet also calling for the expulsion of Members who objected in yesterday’s Electoral College count. Today, some Marylanders are even calling for my resignation, which I will not do,” Harris said. “My colleagues and I held legitimate Constitutional concerns about how the November election was conducted in certain states and felt compelled to highlight those concerns during the formal vote count.”
By Danielle E. Gaines
Letters to Editor
Margot Miller says
MD lawmakers should invoke the 14th amendment against Harris for aiding and abetting the insurrection. He should be recalled and we should get to vote for a replacement.
Jeff Staley says
There will be a price to pay for Republicans who tried to convince voters, without evidence, that our November election was not free and fair. Selfishly undermining confidence in our democratic processes is despicable. When the undermining leads to needless conflict and bloodshed, I believe it is criminal.
We need to rid Congress of these people who ignore their oaths of office and undermine the Constitution solely to attract donations and Trump supporters.
Feel free to resign now, Representative Harris. Surely we can find someone better for Democracy to represent our District.
Marie Teat says
What proof has been provided that votes were not changed when adjudication of ballots took place, that mail in ballots were checked to meet the specified criteria and why full transparency wasn’t provided to both Democrat and Republican officials at the voting sites (this isn’t possible when you are not within a distance to see what is being done or on the other side of windows that have been blocked so you can’t see thru them).
When people don’t like ones belief then they try to take away their freedom of speech, this isn’t how our system is supposed to work.
Deirdre LaMotte says
Look to the Judiciary for your answer. Most were Trump appointed judges who throw out Trump’s 60 lawsuits.
Interesting that Trump’s team went to the airways with a lot of disturbing allocations. However, not one
of his lawyers presented these untrue allegations in court; they knew disbarment were occur for
presenting false evidence.
David lee says
Hey, can we convince Wayne Gilchrist to run against Harris? He would have an excellent chance and it would be a most patriotic act from a great patriot!
Joan Wetmore says
Gilchrist is greatly missed!