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Blumenthal Discusses Impeachment & Gun Violence Prevention on Intergenerational Politics Podcast

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joined hosts Jill Wine-Banks and Victor Shi on the Intergenerational Politics Podcast to discuss the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and the role of young generations in helping to advance gun violence prevention efforts.

Speaking about the current impeachment and the lessons of this impeachment for future generations, Blumenthal says: “I think one of the lessons for all generations is the need for moral compass, for conviction and conscience. What we're facing here really is a moment of reckoning. It's a moral reckoning for my colleagues and history will judge them. You'll judge them not only right now, but in the future. They're going to be outlived by people who are watching right now and that living history, right now before your eyes, I think should be the basis for your judgments. I would hope that your generation, my children's generation, all of us, will take a lesson about the need for stronger moral compass as a result of their shirking their duty because the only reason that they would vote not to convict here is cowardice and spinelessness. Not surprising, because cowardice and spinelessness is what they've shown for the last four years in the face of Donald Trump's consistent repeated constant violation of law, breaking of norms.

On former President Trump’s role in the January 6th insurrection and violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, Blumenthal said: “Donald Trump violated his oath. That's the fundamental crux of this impeachment he violated his oath to protect and defend the Constitution, not just in inciting the crowd but failing to protect the Constitution.” Blumenthal stressed that Trump’s role in the insurrection must also be viewed with a wider lens, saying: “I think that this case has to go back and put this entire January 6th assault on the Capitol in the context of Donald Trump’s 77-day campaign to overthrow the election. His pressure on Georgia officials, his attempt to persuade the Wayne County, Michigan election commissioners to reject the outcome, his constant threatening even before the election that the only way he would lose is if it were rigged, and this January 6th violent insurrection was the natural culmination. It was the last fiery assault in that 77-day campaign to overthrow an election and keep himself in power. In effect the Founders’ worst nightmare, what they feared most, was a demagogue who would use physical force to keep himself in power.”

Speaking on the powerful role that young activists have played in the gun violence prevention movement, Blumenthal said: “Young activists have been the wind beneath our sails. They've been the lifeblood of this physical and political movement that we've created. March for Our Lives, the young people from Sandy Hook, from all over the country who I have met have really fueled our movement, they've inspired me and others even though I’ve been involved in this effort for probably now about three decades when I began as Attorney General of the state of Connecticut.”

Blumenthal expressed optimism in the progress that can be made on gun violence prevention legislation in this Congress, including universal background checks, emergency risk protection orders, safe storage laws like Ethan’s Law, and closing the Charleston loophole, saying: “These common sense steps, I think, are achievable now with a Democratic president who's committed to gun violence prevention. Joe Biden was President Obama's partner in campaigning and working for this cause. We have a Democratic House and the Senate, both committed to achieving the kinds of measures that are possible.”

Blumenthal also stressed that the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gun violence, including the rise in suicides, and emphasized the need to pass relief for the American people while addressing gun violence in a bipartisan way, saying: “We need to move forward on pandemic belief putting America back to work, rebuilding our roads and bridges. The challenges are immense – gun violence prevention is certainly one of them – and I've already talked to a number of my colleagues about bipartisan action, I think it can be bipartisan to achieve these goals.”

The full video recording of the podcast interview is available here and the audio is available here.