Lawmakers respond to House impeachment vote

Lawmakers respond to House impeachment vote

WASHINGTON, DC (KAIT) - Area lawmakers on Wednesday responded to the U.S. House vote to impeach President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The House voted 232-197 for incitement of insurrection for the Jan. 6 incident at the Capitol. The vote Wednesday was historic in that it was the second time that a President of the United States has been impeached.

Voting in favor was 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Voting against were 197 Republicans, including Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Jonesboro), Rep. French Hill (R-Little Rock), Rep. Steve Womack (R-Rogers), Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) and Southeast Missouri Congressman Jason Smith (R-Salem).

Crawford, in a tweet, said he did not support the impeachment.

“I do not support this impeachment because rushing and short-circuiting the process of a serious criminal investigation by the House of Representatives would be a risky precedent that could lead to widespread abuse by both parties,” Crawford said on Twitter. “We have a responsibility to investigate and present findings and that has not been done. I strongly support immediately appointing a bipartisan commission to investigate all events surrounding the attack on our Capitol. There appears to be evidence that some of the violent protestors came with the intent of doing harm against our government. If so, then those who chose the path of insurrection should be punished to the fullest extent of the law because that behavior should never be tolerated.”

Smith, a Republican who represents the 8th District in Southeast Missouri, agreed.

Rep. Steve Womack (R-Rogers), who represents the 3rd District, said he believes Congress should be working to unite people instead of dividing them.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also responded Wednesday evening to the House vote.

“’There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.’ Those words are as true today as when Abraham Lincoln spoke them. As I said last summer when mob violence gripped our streets, so I say again about the mob violence at our nation’s Capitol last week: those persons responsible should be held accountable in the courts to the full extent of the law,” Sen. Cotton said in the statement.

“The House has passed an article of impeachment against the president, but the Senate under its rules and precedents cannot start and conclude a fair trial before the president leaves office next week. Under these circumstances, the Senate lacks constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president. The Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office—not an inquest against private citizens. The Constitution presupposes an office from which an impeached officeholder can be removed.”

“Fidelity to the Constitution must always remain the lodestar for our nation. Last week, I opposed the effort to reject certified electoral votes for the same reason—fidelity to the Constitution—I now oppose impeachment proceedings against a former president,” Sen. Cotton said.

“Congress and the executive branch should concentrate entirely for the next week on conducting a safe and orderly transfer of power. After January 20, Congress should get on with the people’s business: improving our vaccination efforts, getting kids back to school, and getting workers back on the job.”

Copyright 2021 KAIT. All rights reserved.