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Lightfoot worried about ‘distraction’ of impeachment

“We need to turn the page from this horrible, hideous chapter in our history. … We need to start a new administration with a new set of valuables and principles that reconnect with each other as Americans,” Lightfoot told reporters Monday.

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally Wednesday outside the White House. Democrats seeking his removal from office cite his remarks at that rally, which they say incited the mob that later breached the Capitol and threatened lawmakers.
Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday President Donald Trump cannot be allowed to “burn down every bridge on his way out of office,” but a second impeachment that would still be pending when Joe Biden is inaugurated is not what a divided nation needs to heal.

“We need to turn the page from this horrible, hideous chapter in our history. … We need to start a new administration with a new set of valuables and principles that reconnect with each other as Americans, as residents of this great country,” Lightfoot told reporters at an unrelated news conference on the gradual reopening of Chicago Public Schools.

“I worry about the potential for distraction.”

Lightfoot argued Trump committed a “criminal act” by encouraging those who descended on Washington D.C. to protest the certification of Biden’s election to storm the U.S. Capitol. The siege left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.

The mayor also agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Trump is “dangerous” and “unhinged” and could “order a nuclear strike” or “order troops into harm’s way” before leaving office.

But with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he won’t even take up impeachment until the day before Trump leaves office, “I worry a little bit about impeachment simply because [of] the time frame.”

“We all have to ask the question, can we, in the next nine days, have assurances that he cannot act in a way that is gonna put American lives at risk? ... That is the core issue and concern. That has to be on the table and whatever means we need to make sure that doesn’t happen, we should,” she said.

“Obviously, if he were to resign early it would be a big sigh of relief for everyone. I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I don’t think a process that isn’t gonna reach conclusion before the end of his term is really gonna have any impact on him. This is a man who doesn’t care. Who is impervious to the norms and accountability measures that keep most elected officials in check.”

Lightfoot said she’s concerned about what Trump has done and “what he is capable of doing” on his way out.

Apparently referring to the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which also could be invoked by Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet members to remove Trump from office, Lightfoot added that the public most needs “assurances from the highest levels of government and particularly from Vice President Pence, that he is not gonna allow that to happen. He is not gonna allow Donald Trump to burn down every bridge on his way out of office.”