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Sen. Schumer Recalls Jan. 6 As The "Best And Worst" Day Of His Political Career

Senate Democrats

Senator Chuck Schumer made his first public remarks about former President Trump’s impeachment trial during a visit to Central New York Monday, while also sharing his personal experience the day of the insurrection at the Capitol.  He says he stayed up all night watching the results of the January 5th Georgia special elections. 

When he learned both democrats won, he knew he’d be the next majority leader.   

"Of course, my first reaction was joy.  Wow!  We had worked so long and hard for this.  But shortly thereafter, I felt another reaction.  The huge responsiblity on my shoulders made me tremble a little bit."

After getting some sleep, Schumer drove to the Capitol and arrived on the senate floor around 1 p.m.

"Within an hour, a police officer with a bullet proof vest and a submachine gun strapped around his waist grabbed me by the collar, not harshly but firmly, and said 'senator, we have to go.  You're in danger.'  As the film at the impeacment trial showed, I was within 30 feet of these awful insurrectionists...these selfish, violent, bad people."

Schumer says the best day of his political career quickly became the worst day.  He’s called on the acting US attorney general to prosecute all those involved to the fullest extent of the law.  Schumer’s voice briefly shook with emotion as he recalled what happened, and who’s to blame.

"Make no mistake about it.  The person who incited this is Donald J. Trump.  I believe he deserved to be impeached and he should have been convicted.  This was the most despicable act any president has ever done.  If you don't believe me, you can ask Mitch McConnell."

Despite voting not to convict Trump, now-Minority Leader McConnell said from the senate floor that there is no question that the former President was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”  Schumer says he salutes the seven republican senators who voted to convict, and is very disappointed in those who didn’t.  But he believes the ex-president has been convicted in the court of public opinion.  

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at