Here’s how, why local members of Congress voted in impeachment debate

With the exception of one Cleveland-area Republican, Ohio’s congressional delegation voted Wednesday along party lines on whether to impeach President Donald Trump a second time after a floor debate that featured U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, leading the president’s defense.

U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Rocky River, was among 10 Republicans nationwide to support impeachment, saying Trump “helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution.”

“These are fundamental threats not just to people’s lives but to the very foundation of our Republic,” he said.

The other 11 Ohio Republicans voted against impeachment. All four Ohio Democratic members of Congress voted for it.

Some Ohio Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, criticized Trump’s actions but opposed impeachment.

“Last week’s assault on the Capitol, the Constitution and our democracy was reprehensible,” Turner said. “A violent mob rioted and stormed the Capitol in a futile attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election. They failed.”

“In less than a week, President Trump is leaving office disgraced and discredited for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. However, Speaker Pelosi’s snap impeachment is absent due process, hearings, witnesses and violates our responsibilities under the Constitution,” Turner said. “For these reasons, I could not support it.”

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, said the impeachment proceedings are politically motivated and rushed, likely not proceeding in the Senate until Trump leaves office.

“To hold a trial after President Biden takes office would serve only to rub salt in America’s wounds. I will not participate in this political effort to further divide Americans under the guise of impeaching a man who will not be in office within a few days,” he said. “If President Biden is serious about unifying this country, he will make his first 100 days about rebuilding this country’s economy and listening to the men and women who feel unheard by their government.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati, said Wednesday’s vote could set a precedent of “snap impeachments” and could cause irrevocable harm.

“The majority is ramming through this House the most potent tool at our disposal without a single hearing, turning a process that usually takes months into a few short hours,” he said.

Jordan, an ardent Trump supporter, took a central role in the impeachment debate. He accused Democrats of hypocrisy for criticizing him and fellow Republicans for objecting to the certification of the November election results after Democrats objected in 2017 to certifying votes in states Trump clearly won.

“Americans are tired of the double standard,” he said in a floor speech.

Jordan criticized Democrats for investigating allegations against Trump for years but not looking into alleged election irregularities that millions of Americans have concerns about.

“Democrats can raise bail for rioters and looters this summer, but somehow when Republicans condemn all the violence — the violence this summer, the violence last week — somehow we’re wrong,” he said.

U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-Massachusetts, countered that Democrats lodged a “protest vote” in 2017 over concerns about Russian interference, but they conceded the day after the election that Trump won.

McGovern called Jordan’s comments “what-aboutism” and false equivalencies.

“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,” McGovern said.

“The president of the United States instigated an attempted coup in this country. People died. Everybody should be outraged, whether Democrat or Republican. If this is not an impeachable offense, I don’t know what the hell is.”

Jordan also called for the third highest-ranking House Republican to be removed as House Republican Conference Chair for her support of impeaching Trump, according to reports.

Jordan told reporters U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, should be removed as conference chair, the Washington Post and others reported.

“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said in a statement Tuesday. “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

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