House Democrats, led once again by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday. The vote, based on false allegations, as the Wall Street Journal outlined in an editorial this week, that he incited the riot at the United States Capitol. The single article of impeachment accuses Trump of “incitement of insurrection,” despite the fact he called for peace and asked protestors to “go home.” Ten Republicans from purple and blue districts voted with Democrats.
The final vote was 232-197 and five members did not vote. Some 193 Republicans, virtually all of the GOP members, voted no. It’s not the first effort to impeach Trump. Democrats did it in 2020 after starting impeachment talk before Trump was even inaugurated in 2017.
GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Dan Newhouse of Washington, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, John Katko of New York, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina, David Valadao of California and Peter Meijer of Michigan all voted with Democrats to impeach President Trump.
Constitutional lawyers, historians and others were joined by Republicans in repudiating the actions.
Republicans voting against impeachment said they did so because Trump did not incite a riot, but was merely opposing election fraud. They noted all but a small group of the more than 100,000 people who rallied for President Trump were peaceful Americans.
“If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisans, this Capitol would be deserted,” Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif. said. “That’s what the president did. That is all he did.”
Rep. Tom Cole, added, “Instead of moving forward as a unifying force, the majority in the House is choosing to divide us further.”
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.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot down plans to hold an emergency Senate session to handle the impeachment trial, meaning President Trump would not be impeached before leaving office. The decision also means there is not likely a 2/3 majority to support impeachment.
McConnell wrote to his GOP colleagues Wednesday that he had not made up his mind: “While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
The Senate acquitted Trump in February 2020 on both articles of impeachment last time, with Sen. Mitt Romney being the only Republican to break with his party.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump urged Americans to refrain from violence and lawbreaking ahead of planned protests against pro-abortion President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank you,” Trump said.