In the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., it was the repeated shouting of “Stop it!” when House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy recounted a profane remark about President Trump that fellow Squad member Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., had uttered back in January.
On Wednesday, several journalists — including PBS Newshour senior reporter Daniel Bush, Daily Caller reporter Scott Morefield and others — identified Omar, who was not seen on camera — as the voice heard in the background as McCarthy addressed his fellow House members in the U.S. Capitol.
“What’s the problem?” Morefield wrote, referring to Omar. “Truth hurt?”
In January — soon after all four Squad members took office following their elections in November 2018, and months before the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that kicked off the House impeachment inquiry this fall — Tlaib said on camera at a Capitol Hill reception celebrating the new Congress that “We’re going to go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf—er,” referring to Trump.
“Nothing was going to get in their way and certainly not the truth,” McCarthy began Wednesday. “Madam Speaker, Chairman Schiff said he had evidence, more than circumstantial, of collusion. That was false.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s reference to a past remark by a fellow Squad member reportedly irritated Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday.
“In January, where we all stood in this body. We stood up. We raised our hands. We swore that we’d uphold the Constitution,” McCarthy continued. “And, a few mere hours after that, Congresswoman Tlaib said she was going to impeach the mother-f-er. Those are not my words.”
Omar also commented on Twitter on Wednesday about the impeachment.
“The evidence is clear,” she wrote online. “Trump extorted a foreign government in an effort to get reelected — and obstructed Congress’ resulting investigation. He abused his oath of office. Today, I will act to restore balance to our democracy. I will vote to impeach Donald Trump.”
Other Squad members shared their views Wednesday as well.
During her own floor speech, Tlaib pointed to the “common sense” of the people in her home district in Michigan and veterans’ sense of “duty and responsibly” before citing “bribery” as a reason she supported impeaching Trump — even though bribery was not included as an article of impeachment.
The Democrat-led House decided to file only two articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Article one, abuse of power, passed on a 230-197 vote, with two Democrats joining Republicans in voting nay. The obstruction-of-Congress vote was 229-197, with three Democrats voting nay. No Republicans supported either article.
“I rise today in support of impeachment. I learn so much every single day form my residents at home. Their common sense and understanding of what is right and wrong centered on why they oppose any person who uses the most powerful position in the world for personal gain,” Tlaib said.
“We honor our veterans in this chamber almost on a daily basis, but do we ever follow their lead? Where we serve the people of the United States and uphold the Constitution not as Republicans or Democrats but as Americans. We should learn from their sense of duty and responsibility to country and democracy — not a political party.
“Doing nothing here, Madam Speaker, is not an option. Looking away from these crimes against our country is not an option. This is about protecting the future of our nation and our democracy from corruption. Abuse of power, criminal cover-ups and bribery.
“This vote is also for my sons and the future of so many generations, so I urge my colleagues to please vote yes on these articles of impeachment,” she concluded.
The freshmen Democrats known as “The Squad.” From left are U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. They are seen at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, July 15, 2019. (Associated Press)
Ocasio-Cortez took aim at Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., who – invoking the holiday season – used his speech on the House floor Wednesday to point out that the Romans who persecuted Jesus Christ first gave him a chance to defend himself.
“Before you take this historic vote today, one week before Christmas, I want you to keep this in mind: When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers. During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this President in this process,” Loudermilk said.
Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter with a Bible verse, simply writing: “Romans 1:25”
The verse warns against changing the “truth of God into a lie” and instead of worshipping a “creature” more than the blessed Creator — in what appeared to be a comment from the congresswoman on Republicans’ support for President Trump.
House Democrats had pointed out that Trump was invited to testify before Congress but refused to comply with the impeachment inquiry.
“No normal person would be able to get away with attempting to extort a foreign power to compromise our country,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Wednesday. “But all too often, the most corrupt and powerful people grow so accustomed to life with impunity that standard accountability feels to them like unjust persecution.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., also addresssed her fellow House members on Wednesday.
“I rise today to protect our democracy. Today we take a stand against corruption and abuses of power. What we are doing here today is not only patriotic – it is uniquely American,” she said. “America is a story of ordinary people confronting abuses of power with the steadfast pursuit of justice.
“Throughout our history, the oppressed have been relegated to the margins by the powerful and each time we have fought back. Deliberate in our approach, clear eye. Each generation has fought for the preservation of our democracy, and that is what brings us to the House floor today. Efficient and effective in the pursuit of our truth.
“Congress has done its due diligence. Today we send a clear message – we will not tolerate abuse of power from the President of the United States of America. The future of this nation rests in our hands. It is with a heavy heart but a resolved one. And, because I believe our democracy is worth fighting for, I will vote to impeach Donald J. Trump, and I urge my colleagues to do the same,” she concluded.