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.