Trump impeachment vote: How Colorado’s representatives voted in second impeachment
For the second time in 13 months, Colorado’s U.S. House members split along party lines during a vote to impeach President Donald Trump. All Democrats voted in favor Wednesday and all Republicans were opposed.
The reasons for their votes also echoed partisan rhetoric, with GOP Rep. Ken Buck calling the impeachment coming in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol “rushed” and Democratic Rep. Jason Crow asking Republicans to show “courage.”
Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 232-197 for the high crime and misdemeanor of inciting an insurrection. He is the only president in American history to be impeached twice, and will now be tried in the U.S. Senate for a second time, likely after he leaves office Jan. 20.
Democrats allege the president incited the mob on Jan. 6 in an effort to keep himself in power. Prior to that deadly attack, Trump told a crowd to march to the Capitol, where members of Congress were certifying the presidential election.
“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he said that day. Hours later, rioters killed a police officer and injured dozens.
“President Trump’s acts encouraging, inciting a mob that stormed the United States Capitol with the sole purpose of stopping the constitutionally mandated counting of electoral votes cannot go unanswered by this body,” said Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette, in a speech before the vote. “He must be impeached.”
Buck, a Windsor Republican, condemned the riot and criticized Trump’s rhetoric on that day, but said impeachment isn’t the right solution.
“If we are serious about acknowledging this violence, we must recognize the divisive political climate that leaders in this country have created,” Buck said. “Republican and Democrat members of Congress alike must lead on this issue by toning down the divisive rhetoric and encouraging unity. This botched impeachment only fans the flames of an already out of control fire.”
The speed at which the president was impeached — just one week after the Capitol riot — is without precedent in U.S. history. There were not weeks of hearings or days of debate in the House Judiciary Committee, as there usually is and were in 2019. Instead, the article of impeachment was introduced directly on the House floor and voted on Wednesday afternoon after a few hours of short statements.
“Rather than actually helping American people in this time, (Democrats) start impeachments that further divide our country,” said Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Rifle Republican. “I call bull crap when I hear the Democrats demanding unity. Sadly, they are only unified in hate.”
For some Democrats, the events of Jan. 6 were fresh in their minds as they cast their votes. Speaking on the House floor before the vote, Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver pointed to a spot in the House gallery where she laid on the floor and heard gunshots one week before.
“They were an angry mob incited by a president trying to stop certification of a legitimate election,” said DeGette, who along with Neguse will act as a prosecutor during the Senate trial. “It’s clear the president learned nothing in the last year. Yesterday, the president said again that he did nothing wrong. This man is dangerous, he has defied the constitution, he has incited sedition, and he must be removed.”
Crow, an Aurora Democrat who was photographed crouching in the House gallery as rioters neared, spoke of that moment during his speech Wednesday.
“I’m not asking you to storm the beaches of Normandy,” he told Republicans, “but only to show a fraction of the courage we ask from our troops every day. Leadership is hard. It’s time to impeach.”
Crow said earlier in the day that he had talked to House Republicans who were afraid to vote for impeachment because they worried they’d receive death threats.
Meanwhile, Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican and staunch supporter of the president, called Wednesday’s vote “a travesty.” In addition to criticizing Democrats, he defended the president’s rhetoric before the rioting.
“It is clear that President Trump did not incite this violence,” Lamborn claimed in a statement before the vote. “He clearly called for individuals to peacefully and patriotically make their voices heard. This is yet another political ploy by House Democrats who hate the President and will do everything in their power to silence the voices of millions of Americans who voted for him.”
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