Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the gay Democrat who represents a congressional district in New York State’s Hudson Valley, was ready to physically fight back against the mob who stormed the U.S. Capitol January 6.
When it appeared that the rioters would make their way into the House of Representatives chamber, Maloney turned to colleague Colin Allred, a former pro football player, and asked, “Are you ready to fight these MAGA assholes?” Maloney recounted to the New York Daily News this week.
“Let’s go,” responded Allred, a Democrat from Texas, according to Maloney. Four other Democrats got ready to join them, but then Capitol Police told them to leave the chamber for a safe location.
“There were a few moments where we thought they would be inside the chamber at any moment,” Maloney told the Daily News. “We were ready for a fight. I think it was only later that we realized how many of them there were.”
He recalled hearing a gunshot and he and his colleagues evacuated, and he said that was probably when one of the rioters, Ashli Babbitt, was killed by police as she and others tried to smash their way into the House speaker’s lobby. The officer was justified in using deadly force, Maloney said. “Thank God he did,” the congressman said.
Once in the secure location, Maloney was able to call his husband, Randy Florke, he told the paper. In the interview, he also praised the police officers for their quick response to the riot, and he described his anger with Donald Trump as he learned that the president incited his followers to invade the capitol to stop Congress’s vote certifying that Joe Biden had won the presidential election.
Maloney joined Tuesday in voting to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office because he’s unfit to serve, and Wednesday the congressman voted to impeach Trump once again.
On the latter vote, Maloney released this statement: “One week ago, we saw the gravest betrayal in American history of the presidential oath of office. The commander-in-chief incited a violent attack on our Capitol during the tabulation of the Electoral College vote. I was a witness to these events. He did this to overturn the results of a valid American presidential election. The resulting violence caused incalculable damage and loss of life, including of a Capitol Police officer. These actions demand his immediate impeachment and removal as provided by the Constitution. This action must be taken now to separate the President immediately from the awesome powers of his office that he might yet misuse to overturn the will of the people and the peaceful transfer of power.”
The Senate, which conducts the trial when a president is impeached, is now not expected to do so until after Trump has left office; Biden will be sworn in as president this coming Wednesday. But supporters of impeachment say it’s worthwhile to do it in order to hold Trump accountable for his actions, and because if the Senate votes to convict him, it can hold a second vote disqualifying him from holding office again.
Also this week, Maloney told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace he had knowledge that at least one member of Congress took people on a tour of the capitol the day before the insurrection — possibly giving them intel that would be helpful in invading. Other representatives have made similar statements. He did not name the member of Congress, but Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado has claimed he was talking about her. Maloney has now clapped back at her.