House staffers urge senators to convict Trump in impeachment trial

Dozens of House staffers are banding together to urge senators to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE in his impeachment trial, arguing he was directly responsible for inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

More than 150 House staffers so far have signed on to a letter to senators, according to a staffer familiar with the drafting of the letter. The party breakdown of those who signed the letter was not immediately clear, though the staffer said it was primarily signed by Democrats.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, is meant to be a bipartisan appeal offering the perspective of staffers who went through the chaos on Jan. 6 when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and delayed Congress's certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory.

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“On January 6th, 2021, our workplace was attacked by a violent mob trying to stop the electoral college vote count. That mob was incited by ex-president Donald J. Trump and his political allies, some of whom we pass every day in the hallways at work,” a draft of the letter states.

The letter goes on to describe how staffers “hid behind chairs and under desks or barricaded ourselves in offices” as the mob stormed the building.

“Others watched on TV and frantically tried to reach bosses and colleagues as they fled for their lives,” the letter states.

The letter also called out Trump for spreading baseless claims that the election was riddled with widespread voter fraud, and implored senators to vote to convict Trump.

“As employees of the U.S. House of Representatives, we don’t have a vote on whether to convict Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the violent attack at the Capitol, but our Senators do,” the letter continues. “And for our sake, and the sake of the country, we ask that they vote to convict the former president and bar him from ever holding office again.”

The appeal comes as the upper chamber prepares to hear arguments in Trump’s impeachment trial next month after the upper chamber voted 55-45 this week against a motion to dismiss the trial.

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Just five Republicans sided with Democrats in voting against the motion, signaling there are likely not enough GOP votes to convict Trump during the trial itself.

At least five people died as a result of the riot on Capitol Hill, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.

More than 150 people have been arrested in connection with the riot, and federal authorities have focused on investigating hundreds more.

“No one deserves to work in a workplace like this, including members of Congress, including members of the media,” the staffer said. “No one deserves to have to work in an environment like that, that is susceptible to that type of an attack incited by a then-sitting president.”