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Lawmakers react to second Trump impeachment

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 12:08 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2021 at 6:28 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Congressional and local lawmakers in our region are reacting to the House of Representatives’ bipartisan vote to impeach President Trump with “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters violently attacked the U.S. Capitol.

While speaking on the House floor, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, said “The mob was assembled by Donald Trump, incited by Donald Trump and in service to Donald Trump’s effort to overturn through violence, what he lost at the voting booth.”

Welch and all 222 House Democrats voted in favor of the impeachment resolution.

In a statement, Rep. Annie Kuster, D-New Hampshire, called President Trump’s actions “beyond dereliction of duty.” “What took place last week was sedition. It’s our duty to remove him from office and ensure that he is disqualified from holding office in the future,” Kuster said.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York, wrote a statement blasting the impeachment as a “snap impeachment” and a “partisan ploy with no basis in the Constitution.” “The Democrats’ decision to impeach the President with one week remaining in his term further fuels the divisions in the country during this very trying time,” she said. “As Members of the United States Congress, we should focus on unifying our country by delivering solutions to the American people,” Stefanik said.

While the resolution was overwhelmingly rejected by Republicans in the House, 10 of them sided with the Democrats. That’s something Vermont’s Senate Minority Leader Randy Brock, R-Franklin County, says is significant. “It says something that I think is increasingly powerful. I think based on more information coming out on what happened on the sixth of January, that number will grow,” he said. “But I think what’s even more significant is the fact that Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate Republicans, has not ruled out voting in favor of impeachment once it reaches the senate. That, to me, is a sea change.”

Vermont Senate Pro Tempore Becca Balint, D-Windham County, says she’s hopeful the bipartisan vote is an indication that the country is on the brink of unity. “I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be a time when people quickly come together but I think that if we don’t have a reckoning over this horrific act that we’re never going to be able to heal,” Balint said.

WCAX asked on social media what people thought about the fact that the president has been impeached for a second time. The reactions range from positive to negative and even neutral.

“I agree, it had to be done, for the good of our country’s future,” said Terry Silva.

“I think it is what should happen he has not been a leader since stepping foot in office. This though no matter your political view was wrong on every level,” said Heidi Clement.

But Deb Curtis Lowe does not. “It’s always his fault. Really? The rioters can’t be held responsible for their own actions? The hatred for him has just gotten totally out of control!” said Lowe.

“It really means nothing. He is out of office shortly anyhow,” said Lisa Des-Jardins.

The Article of Impeachment now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate. To convict, the Senate would need a two-thirds vote.

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