The House of Representatives Wednesday made history by voting to impeach President Trump for a second time for “incitement of insurrection” after a mob of his supporters besieged the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a failed attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win.
The House voted 232-197 to impeach the president. Ten Republicans joined with Democrats.
While Trump has just one week left in office, Democrats who have been clamoring for an opportunity to oust Trump since the moment he got in office are claiming that its too “dangerous” for Trump to remain in office.
“The bottom line is this: This Capitol was stormed. People died because of the big lies that were being told by this president, and by too many people on the other side of the aisle. Enough,” said Democrat Rep. Jim McGovern, in a floor speech before the vote. “People should be outraged as to what happened. It was unforgivable, unconscionable.”
“The president of the United States instigated an attempted coup in this country,” McGovern continued. “People died. … If this is not an impeachable offense. I don’t know what the hell is. This president is not fit to remain in office.”
This House impeachment of President Trump differed from the last in that it garnered some Republican support from Reps. Liz Cheney, Dan Newhouse, Adam Kinzinger, Fred Upton, Jaime Herrera Beutler, John Katko, Anthony Gonzalez, Tom Rice, David Valadao and Peter Meijer.
“President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week,” Meijer tweeted in advance of the vote. “With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump.”
Most Republicans, however, voted against the rushed impeachment because Trump is already exiting office and the political action would do little to unite a fractured country.
Other house members also believe Trump is not responsible for the violent actions of his supporters since the president specifically didn’t call for violence.
“If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this Capitol would be deserted,” Rep. Tom McClintock said. “That’s what the president did. That is all he did.”
Republicans point to Trump’s speech at the Stop the Steal rally where he said: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
McClintock accused Democrats of making provocative speeches this summer in support of Black Lives Matter protests that precipitated violence and looting in the name of racial injustice. He said Democrats should be prepared for consequences the next time when the “lunatic fringe” of their party acts out.
“I cannot think of a more petty, vindictive and gratuitous act than to impeach an already defeated president a week before he is to leave office,” McClintock said.
The impeachment debate happened without any Judiciary Committee hearings. Democrats rushed the resolution to the floor just one week after the mob attacked the Capitol, destroyed property and stopped the work of both chambers of Congress in certifying Biden’s win.
The House already called on Pence to remove Trump from office through the 25th Amendment. Pence, however, declined to invoke the 25th Amendment and Republican members, like Rep. Tom Cole, said they trust their former colleague’s judgment that Trump is fit to serve the remainder of his term.