WASHINGTON (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) gave an emotional speech on the Senate floor Wednesday night, invoking her service to the country in the Armed Forces as she denounced the storming of the U.S. Capitol earlier in the day.
Duckworth noted that in 2004, she packed up her rucksack, laced up her boots, and deployed to Iraq.
“I earned my wounds, proudly fighting in a war I did not support, on the orders of a president that I did not vote for – because I believed in, and still believe in, the values of our nation,” Duckworth said.
She said she was proud to defend her country overseas, and, “I never, never thought it would be necessary to defend it from an attempted violent overthrow in our nation’s own Capitol building.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth says senators didn't take an oath to "discharge our duties only when it served our political interests, or helped us to avoid the wrath of a petty, insecure, wannabe tinpot dictator on the precipice of losing power and relevance" https://t.co/wTKxzqAo9U pic.twitter.com/d1CyY6wG72
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 7, 2021
Duckworth said when the troops with whom she deployed raised their hands, “We did not qualify our oath by saying that we follow orders only when the commander in chief is someone whose election we were happy with.”
But now, she said, there has been a challenge to the election and even an insurrection because of a “petty, insecure wannabe tinpot dictator on the precipice of losing power and relevance,” Duckworth said.
Duckworth said President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election with a record number of votes, and the results have been confirmed.
But some Republican lawmakers are asking to have the will of the people ignored, even “after judge after Trump-appointed judge – even Trump’s attorney general – admitted that the United States Department of Justice had not found widespread fraud that would have affected the outcome.”
Duckworth said those lawmakers are placing more trust in conspiracy theories over the U.S. Constitution.
“My troops did not sign up to defend our democracy in warzones thousands of miles away, only to watch it crumble in these halls here at home,” she said.
Duckworth said President Trump has always had “an adversarial relationship with the truth” and “always cries conspiracy” and “foments chaos” when things don’t go his way.
“But today, we here in this chamber have the opportunity to prove that here in this country, truth matter; that right matters; that the will of the people matters,” she said.
“I regret that I have no rucksack to pack for my country, no Black Hawk to pilot, nor am I asking for any grand gesture to my Republican colleagues,” Duckworth said. “All that I’m asking of you is to reflect on the oath that you have sworn, the damages done to our union today, and the sacrifices that have given so much to this nation,” she said.
Applause was heard after Duckworth completed her speech.
Supporters of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of the Senate as lawmakers counted electoral votes to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election. The chaos erupted shortly after Mr. Trump gave a speech once again falsely claiming to have won a second term.
The angry mob clashed with police, climbed walls and broke windows and doors at the Capitol Building. Some breached the Senate Chamber as police officers drew their guns.
The nation’s capital was under curfew Tuesday night as a result of the violence. One woman died after she was shot at the Capitol and several others were hospitalized with injuries, officials said.
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