Minnesota's Congressional Delegation Votes Along Party Lines On Trump's 2nd Impeachment
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CBS News) -- The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol that left five people dead, cementing his place in history as the only president to be impeached twice in a bipartisan rebuke that was approved with unprecedented speed.
The final vote was 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans joining all 222 Democrats in supporting a single article of impeachment charging the president with "incitement of insurrection."
None of those 10 Republicans came from Minnesota's congressional delegation. All four GOP Reps. -- Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Jim Hagedorn, and Pete Stauber -- voted down the House resolution to impeach Trump. All four Democratic Reps. from Minnesota -- Angie Craig, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, and Dean Phillips -- voted in support of impeaching the president.
"It is deeply disturbing that Minnesota's Republican congressional delegation chose their political party over their country, their careers over the Constitution, and a mob over the people of Minnesota. There is no offense more impeachable than sedition and treason against the United States government, and the Minnesota Republican delegation's votes not to impeach have condoned this behavior which should be universally denounced," Minnesota DFL chair Ken Martin said. "Hagedorn, Emmer, Fischbach, and Stauber failed to stand up for the rule of law and American democracy when it mattered most and the people of Minnesota will not forget that."
Trump was first impeached in December 2019 for his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Biden family. His second impeachment comes just one week before President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office as his successor.
"We must impeach and remove this president from the office immediately so that he cannot be a threat to our democracy," Omar said Wednesday.
Phillips, in a passionate news conference, said the events of last week made his decision to support impeachment easy.
"No I don't feel safe, not at all. I don't think there is a member of Congress who would say they do," he said. "The intelligence briefings we have received in the last 48 hours are the most chilling, horrifying and unbelievable accounts."
Minnesota Republicans were far less visible as they voted against impeachment. They were not among the dozens of Republicans who rose on the House floor to defend Trump.
"With fewer than seven days remaining in this administration, we should be focused on moving forward," Fischbach said in a statement.
Only two other presidents have been impeached since the founding of the republic -- Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
"We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ahead of the vote. "He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."
The article of impeachment will soon head to the Senate, where lawmakers must hold a trial on whether to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he has not made a decision on whether he will vote to convict the president at trial.
Minnesota two Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith have said if and when there is a trial in the Senate, they will vote to convict.
Only a conviction by two-thirds of the Senate can remove the president from office. A Senate trial would likely happen after Trump is no longer president. Democrats have expressed support for that because it could bar him from running for office in the future.
Some of Minnesota's Reps. issued statements about the second impeachment.
"Nearly four years ago, on the steps of the United States Capitol, President-elect Donald Trump swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully execute the duties of his office to the best of his ability. Last week, the nation watched in horror as an angry mob of insurrectionists – summoned and incited by President Trump – marched on those same steps and attacked the Capitol, resulting in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.
Like President Trump, I took an oath to uphold our Constitution and defend our Democracy. Unlike the President, I intend to uphold mine. After witnessing and experiencing the January 6th attack on our Capitol, it is clear that President Trump asked these terrorists to show up in Washington, assembled them and incited them to march to the Capitol to attack a separate branch of government. For that reason, I am voting today in support of his impeachment." -- Rep. Angie Craig (2nd District)
"Instead of looking toward the future and doing the business of the American people, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have prosecuted another unwarranted and politically-motivated impeachment.
"This latest effort by House Democrats to impeach President Trump is further dividing an already splintered nation and subjecting the American people to yet another partisan battle. Democrats began working to impeach and remove the President before he even took the Oath of Office four years ago. They lack credibility on this issue. It is time to move forward as a nation." -- Rep. Jim Hagedorn (1st District)
"I voted to impeach President Trump for incitement of insurrection. Inspired, encouraged, and supported by the president, last week's violent attack on Congress was an act of domestic terrorism. The U.S. Capitol building was desecrated and vandalized. Members of Congress, their staff members, Vice President Pence, and those who work in this temple of American democracy were put in danger. The women and men of the U.S. Capitol Police who work every day to protect us were beaten and attacked. Two officers lost their lives as a result of this tragedy.
"Make no mistake, this was a terrorist plot to disrupt Congress and to prevent Congress from performing its duty under the U.S. Constitution to certify the results of the Electoral College. For the safety of our nation, this president must be removed from office before he inflicts more damage to our democracy." -- Rep. Betty McCollum (4th District)
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