A group of Democratic House staffers are drafting what they hope will be a bipartisan message to the Senate about the upcoming impeachment trial, urging senators to take the trauma their aides experienced during the violent insurrection in the Capitol on January 6 seriously, a staffer tells CNN.
“We are staff who work for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, where it is our honor and privilege to serve our country and our fellow Americans. But on January 6th, 2021, our workplace was attacked by a violent mob trying to stop the Electoral College vote count,” the draft of the letter reads.
In an effort to make the letter appeal to Republican staffers as well, its drafters organized the signatures so staffers can sign on with just their email addresses, leaving off the offices of the members of Congress they work for.
The letter squarely blames former President Donald Trump for inciting the attack.
“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. 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 letter states.
A staffer familiar with the drafting of the letter told CNN that signatures are still being collected and when the letter will be sent to the Senate is undetermined.
“No one should have to experience something like this in their place of work,” the staffer told CNN. “And I think it’s important to tell this part of the story, because it’s not just members of Congress who come to work at the Capitol every day. And it’s not just staffers who work at the Capitol who were traumatized by what happened. And I think that is a piece of it. The trauma is there; the trauma is very real. And anytime that new pieces of information come out, you know, you’re kind of re-traumatized.”
The letter, which started circulating Wednesday morning, already had more than 100 signatures as of Wednesday night. Staffers involved with the letter are keeping the timetable of when it will be sent to the Senate open to ensure that anyone who wants to add their name is able to, the staffer familiar with the drafting tells CNN.
“It’s taken off,” the staffer said when asked to give a ballpark estimate of how many signatures would end up on the letter.