MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Rep. Ilhan Omar is calling for "full accountability" for former President Donald Trump and others in positions of power who played a role in sparking the deadly violence at the Capitol earlier this month.
"The very survival of our democratic government relies on the peaceful transition of power," she wrote in an essay published Thursday in The Atlantic. "Those who plot, plan, or incite violence against the government of the United States must be held fully accountable. That includes not just conviction of the former president by the United States Senate, but removal of any lawmaker or law-enforcement officer who collaborated with the attackers."
In the essay, the congresswoman from Minnesota's 5th District wrote about her personal experience with political violence. As a child, she watched her native Somalia descend into civil war. She said she never expected something like that could happen in the United States, the country where she became one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, and re-elected to the seat this past November.
"There is nothing magical about our democracy that will rise up and save us," she wrote. "Building the democratic processes we cherish today took hard and dedicated work, and protecting them will take the hard and dedicated work of people who love this country."
Stepping back from the brink of political violence will also require major reforms, Omar wrote, calling for an end to unchecked corporate money in politics, barriers to voting for low-income communities, gerrymandering, the Senate filibuster, and the Electoral College. She says the country must move toward a ranked-choice voting system, like the one Minneapolis uses in municipal elections.
"If I learned anything as a survivor of civil conflict, it is that political violence does not go away on its own. Violent clashes and threats to our democracy are bound to repeat if we do not address the structural inequities underlying them," she said.
During the years of the Trump presidency, Omar was a frequent critic of Trump and often a target of the president's tweets. Trump once tweeted that she and four other freshmen congresswoman of color should "go back" from where they came. During one of his rallies, after he attacked Omar, his supporters shouted, "Send her back, Send her back!"
In both of the former president's impeachments, Omar was among the first lawmakers to call him unfit for office.
Speaking of the newly inaugurated Joe Biden, Omar wrote: "He will govern a country that has deep, unhealed wounds and layers of unresolved traumas. We must all work with him and with one another to heal those wounds and to resolve those traumas. The insurrection on January 6 tells us that we are almost out of time."
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