Senate Republicans who are dismissing the impeachment of former President Donald Trump as a waste of time or who are not paying close attention to the evidence that is being presented about the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol are being "absolutely disgraceful," Rep. Val Demings said Thursday.
"For anyone, certainly anyone in that chamber to say this is a waste of time, to decide to not even pay attention, to give the law enforcement officers who protect them every day that much decency and respect, is just absolutely disgraceful," the Florida Democrat, a former Orlando police officer and chief, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Without the actions of the Capitol Police, former Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and members of Congress would have suffered death or bodily harm, she added.
The police were "beaten with hockey sticks, pipes, bats, poles, crushed between a doorway," Demings said. "We know that one lost his life, and two others, because of the emotional stress and trauma, took their lives."
History will judge members of the Senate based on how they judge Trump, who is accused of inciting the rioters, said Demings, but "they have an opportunity to do the right thing. This presentation is not over. The impeachment trial, they still have time."
She added that when her Republican colleagues say they don't believe Trump sent the rioters to the Capitol, what she hears is people saying to "hold everybody accountable, but not our guy."
Demings said that with her training, she knows "you're only good for about 30 seconds" in an all-out fight, but "these officers were fighting for their very lives, fighting to protect us for hours. It was extremely painful and personal for me."
She added that in her 27 years as a police officer, she's had her fights, including in demonstrations involving white supremacists and others, but had never seen anything like what happened on Jan. 6 in the Capitol.
"The law enforcement officers, they deserve more from what we heard from some of the senators yesterday," she said.
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