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Assemblyman Chad Mayes talks Trump’s impeachment, protests at state Capitol, future of Republican Party

The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump a second time after the deadly assault on the Capitol last week.

The vote was mainly along party lines, but 10 republicans did vote to impeach the president, saying he is still a threat to our nation's safety.

Local state Assemblyman Chad Mayes (I-Yucca Valley) also presented a resolution this week calling for Trump to resign. The resolution passed with a 51 to 6 vote.

Mayes joined News Channel 3's Peter Daut at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the impeachment vote and his concern over possible armed protests at state Capitols.

Peter - What we saw the Capitol last week was pretty much unprecedented. What was your overall reaction to what you saw?

Mayes - "Well, I was watching it but when it happened I was actually watching the debate. So, I was watching a TV when it all started to break, and my heart just sunk because I never wanted to imagine that it would get to this to have Americans, to have our own, go on siege, to siege the seat of democracy. In the temple of democracy, and to take lives, it was just, it was crazy. It was absolutely crazy and sad."

Peter - Tell us more about your resolution to the California legislature. And why did you feel this was needed?

Mayes - "On Friday, as I've been giving it some thought, just looking at the actions of what happened last week, it became very clear to me that something had to be done. And although the California legislature is not in Congress, it has no power under the U.S constitution to impeach or to invoke the 25th [amendment]. It is a representative body of the people and it represents the 40 million people here in California. I thought that it was important for us to be able to give our voice of the 40 million people that are here in California and to be able to let Congress know that there needs to be some accountability. And so what I asked for, what HR7 was, a very simple resolution, and it just said that the president should either resign, or the vice president should invoke the 25th amendment, or Congress should impeach because there had to be accountability."

Peter - Looking ahead, there have been warnings from the FBI about possible armed protests across all state Capitols including here in California, your reaction?

Mayes - "Well, I'll tell you just being up in the Capitol this week, I was nervous. And just watching folks around, I was kind of looking over my shoulder. But there was a large police presence there and we had gotten word from the FBI that there was going to be protests at all 50 state Capitols. That's one of the things I've said, was last week the end of something, or is it the beginning of something? And I hope it's the end. I hope it is a time to be able to have some healing in this country once there's accountability, there needs to be some healing. And all this insurrection, this talk of revolution, that all goes away. But, we'll have to continue to just, I think it's something we don't know we haven't seen yet. we just don't know."

Peter - I think California officials in that house said there will be additional security measures. Do you think that'll be enough? And do you feel safe, if you're at the Capitol?

Mayes - "Well, I mean, again, it's, you know, you can only have so much law enforcement, there. You know, the Capitol is barricaded, there are gates all around the perimeter of it. This week, there were highway patrol officers on horseback, and it was the largest presence that I've ever seen in my time, in my last six years in the legislature. I would hope that that's enough. I do know that the California National Guard and others who are on are at the ready if anything was to happen. So, if there are going to be protests, I would hope that they would be peaceful protests. It's discouraging to think that there are actors who are calling for an armed protests. And that seems to make things a little bit more uneasy"

Peter - Mike Pence says he will not invoke the 25th amendment, do you still support the impeachment efforts going on and should the President be removed from office before his term is up?

Mayes - "I do support that. The reason I support it is because there has to be accountability for what happened last week. Here are the facts, the President of the United States, invited the insurrectionists to Washington D.C. He incited the insurrectionists to do what they they did and then he took far too long to be able to call them off. He could have called them off right away, and he did not. If that's not an impeachable offense, I don't know what is. Now the truth is, as of today, there's only seven days left and people could say, oh well what's the point of all of is just a complete waste of time. Our American democracy, it is incredibly important. If we truly are a nation of laws and not of men, there must be accountability and the congress should have acted, and ah, it looks like they have done just that."

Peter - I know that you've been watching the impeachment coverage very carefully and live tweeting about it. What do you think of some of the arguments being presented to not impeach the president?

Mayes - "Well, again, I think that argument of saying, 'There's just seven days left, this is going to be very, going to be very divisive,' and I go, 'Yeah that's all great. There must be accountability.' If we are a nation of laws and not of men, then there has to be accountability and the Congress had to act, the tools of the constitution has given them. And yes, by the time that this gets to the Senate. in fact, what we're hearing is that maybe Mitch McConnell is, there's not going to be enough time for them to go through and process it, it's still important for the congress to act. And that's what they've done."

Peter - You're a former Republican so I'm I'm curious. Where do you think the party stands tonight? Do you think enough republicans are condemning the President's role in this? And, ah, where does the party go from here?

Mayes - "Well, we know at this point that there are 10 Republicans that have voted in favor on the House floor for it, for impeachment. I can tell you that up in Sacramento, private conversations with some of my Republican colleagues, who didn't vote for, they laid off, as we say, they didn't vote for my resolution on Monday, but they are privately supportive. They they too were incredibly disturbed with what happened last week and you can see leaders like Liz Cheney, who was as conservative as they come, that comes from an incredibly conservative district, she stood up and she said, enough is enough. And it's time to hold the president accountable and I agree with her.
As far as the future of the Republican party, at some point in time, the Republican party is going to have to find who it is where they stand. Is it the party of Trump or is the party of Reagan? I would argue that being a Reagan Republican and being a Trump Republican are mutually exclusive. You cannot be one and be the other at the same time. The Republican party is going to have to figure it out. As of what we saw today, it looks like the Republican party is the party of Trump. and I think that that shows the demise of the Republican party here in California, and across this country."

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