MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump in response to the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
While Mid-South lawmakers condemned the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week, they were split on whether the president should be impeached for it.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) voted in favor of impeachment.
U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN), U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), and U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS) voted against impeachment.
The impeachment resolution accused Trump of inciting the angry mob.
It says the president “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government” and says the president “will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”
“Donald Trump incited an insurrection on the Capitol, in an effort to defeat and destroy Congress, the Constitution and every member of Congress,” said Cohen.
Cohen says even though Trump only has a week left in office, he should be removed immediately.
“He cannot be trusted. He can do damage in his last few days,” said Cohen. “He may save it for the last day to conflict with Joe Biden’s inauguration and do something major and I think he’d like to do something major to take the news and spotlight away from Joe Biden.”
Thompson also believes Trump should be removed immediately.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States, threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He must be impeached & removed now,” said Thompson.
Kustoff released the following statement:
“There is no doubt every American was shocked by the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol Building last Wednesday. As our country is experiencing this time of turmoil and uncertainty, we must work together to reconcile our differences and heal our nation. Impeaching President Trump during his last seven days in office would only further divide us as Americans. That is why I do not support the removal of President Trump through impeachment. Our country is in the middle of a global pandemic and the American people are struggling. We must focus our efforts on unifying our country and supporting a peaceful transition of power on January 20th.”
Crawford said the process was rushed.
Crawford released this statement:
“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. 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.”
WMC Political Analyst Michael Nelson says while 10 Republicans voted to impeach the president, most may fear falling out of favor with Trump’s base.
“If you’re a Republican representing a Republican district and the Republicans in your district are Trump supporters, you’re very, very hesitant about saying what you probably really think, which is ‘I can’t wait until this guy has gone and we can get back to something approaching normal,’” said Nelson.
Only the U.S. Senate has the power to remove the president from office.
It doesn’t appear that’s going to happen because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel said the Senate won’t take up impeachment until Jan. 19, which would be Trump’s last full day in office.
Nelson says it’s unclear if the Senate can even proceed with an impeachment trial after a president has left office.
“We just don’t know. We’ve never been here before in the history of the presidency,” said Nelson.
If a Senate impeachment trial takes place, it would take a two-thirds vote to convict him.
If it does, another vote will be held to determine whether Trump can ever hold federal office again.
Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said she’s concerned impeachment will further divide the country.
“To persist with impeachment now, with just days to go in the current administration, will further divide Americans and exacerbate tensions,” said Blackburn. “Moving forward, it is my sincere hope Congress will work on a bipartisan basis to restore the confidence of the American people in our elections, and affirm our shared commitment to the rule of law.”