Castro: U.S. adversaries using riot to undermine democracy abroad
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) argued Thursday during former President Trump’s impeachment trial that the Capitol riots have severely undermined U.S. standing abroad and that hostile nations are using the unrest as anti-Democratic propaganda.
“The world watched President Trump tell his big lie. The world watched his supporters come to Washington at his invitation and the world watched as he told his supporters to come here to the Capitol,” Castro, an impeachment manager, said while addressing senators on the upper chamber’s floor.
“President Trump, our commander-in-chief at the time, failed to take any action to defend us, as he utterly failed in his duty to preserve, protect and defend, and now the world is watching us wondering whether our constitutional republic will respond the way it should … whether the rule of law will prevail over mob rule,” he said. “The answer to that question has consequences far beyond our own borders.”
Castro, during his speech, also read remarks from Chinese officials pointing to the siege as evidence the U.S. has no authority to criticize its crackdown on pro-Democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
“Trump gave the Chinese government an opening to create a false equivalency between protesters seeking democracy and violent protesters trying to overthrow it,” Castro said.
He urged senators to convict, saying it would restore credibility for U.S. officials as they seek to negotiate foreign trade, economic and human rights agreements abroad.
“[To acquit Trump] would forfeit our power as a north star on freedom, democracy and human rights, and most of all on the rule of law,” Castro said. “To convict Donald Trump would mean that America stands for the rule of law, no matter who violates it. Let us … remind the world that we are truly a north star.”
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