WASHINGTON – Kentucky 1st District U.S. Congressman James Comer joined the majority of his Republican colleagues on Wednesday in voting against a second impeachment of President Donald Trump.
According to the Washington Post, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted 232-197 Wednesday to impeach the president on the charge of “incitement of insurrection.” The vote came exactly one week after a mob of angry Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol, causing members of Congress to flee for cover.
Ten Republicans broke with the president in voting for impeachment. Many Democrats and a few Republicans have accused Trump of inciting violence with a speech he gave before the attack in which he urged attendees of a rally to march toward the Capitol Building as Congress was preparing to vote on the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election. Trump has repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen from him.
“Today, I voted against yet another attempt to impeach President Trump,” Comer said in a statement. “With a new president taking office one week from today, it’s time for America to unify as a nation and tackle our biggest challenges. But today’s furtherance of Nancy Pelosi’s obsession with impeaching the President will only raise tensions higher and divide Americans further. Without a fair and deliberative hearing in Congress, this rushed impeachment is nothing but a political stunt by Nancy Pelosi just seven days before President Trump leaves office. In the interest of national unity, House Democrats must set aside their obsession with partisanship and focus on addressing the needs of the American people.”
Some media reports on Tuesday quoted anonymous GOP sources as saying outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was pleased that Democrats were pushing for impeachment. According to McConnell’s communications staff, McConnell sent a note to his Republican colleagues Wednesday, saying, “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.”
McConnell later issued a public statement on the Senate schedule:
“The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the president,” he said. “The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House.
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days and 21 days respectively.
“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The president-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on Jan. 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.
“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration. I am grateful to the offices and institutions within the Capitol that are working around the clock, alongside federal and local law enforcement, to prepare for a safe and successful inauguration at the Capitol next Wednesday.”
After the impeachment vote, Trump released a video condemning last week’s violence.
“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” Trump said, according to CNN. “No true supporters of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement – you are attacking it. And you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it.”