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West Virginia’s Congressional delegation comments on impeachment

MORGANTOWN — On Wednesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump in party-line votes. On abuse of power, two Democrats crossed the aisle; it passed 230-197. On obstruction of Congress, one more crossed the aisle. It passed 229-198.

Here’s how West Virginia’s federal lawmakers responded, via press releases.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.: “Tonight, House Democrats did what they have promised they would do for years: impeach President Donald Trump. Since this president was elected, we have had investigation after investigation, and nothing to show. It has been made clear throughout this rushed and unfair process that this is nothing but political theater, and it sets a terrible precedent.

“Our Founders intended for impeachment to be used as the last straw, the last measure to remove a president from office. Today, impeachment is being weaponized as a political instrument, and that is unfortunate. West Virginians have made it clear to me time and time again that they would rather Congress focus on the issues that truly affect their day-to-day lives—not political and partisan theatrics. Let’s do what we were sent here to do: legislate and improve the lives of Americans.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., did not issue a release.

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va.: “Alexander Hamilton warned in the Federalist Papers No. 65, that impeachment might become a way for Congress to remove a political opponent from office, and that the decision could be driven by politics, rather than a real demonstration of guilt. Today, the House of Representatives has made our Founding Fathers’ fear a reality, and for the first time in our nation’s history, impeached a president on purely partisan lines. This vote sets a precedent that impeachment is no longer based on evidence, but instead who holds the majority in the House.

“Now, the Senate will be forced to stop working on legislation, and instead required to focus on a trial that will result in an acquittal. No reasonable person believes that 67 senators will vote to convict the president on the articles of impeachment.”

Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va.: “Today is a disappointing day. It is the day my colleagues across the aisle cast the vote they have spent the past three years obsessing over. The vote to impeach our duly elected president.

“There are two charges being claimed by House Democrats, and there is ZERO cause for either. While President Trump has led, our country has thrived, and Washington Liberals have failed. Despite the commitment of many of our colleagues to obstruct the Trump Administration’s agenda at every turn, our country continues to succeed.

“… If Congress hadn’t spent the last year stuck in a divisive, ugly, partisan impeachment debacle, think of what we could have done. The lives that could have been saved, the communities that could have been improved, the crisis at our southern border ended, and the positive work we should do for our country. But we didn’t. All because of divisive, political, theatrics. Congress can be better than this. America deserves better.”

Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.: “Far from launching a serious inquiry with any semblance of fairness, the America people witnessed a partisan witch hunt. Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Washington Post on March 11, 2019, ‘I’ve been thinking about this. Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.’

:Speaker Pelosi went back on her word because every Republican member of Congress (and two Democrats) voted against opening impeachment proceedings and all Republicans opposed advancing the Articles of Impeachment in the Judiciary Committee. In fact, the only bipartisan thing was the opposition to this meritless impeachment.

The campaign to impeach President Trump started the moment he was sworn into office. On Jan. 20, 2017, the Washington Post wrote, ‘The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is underway,’ and indeed it was. Who can forget when freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, only hours after she was sworn into office, declared, ‘We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf—er.’

“This vote is one of the most shameful moments in our nation’s history and sets a terrible precedent. Instead of wasting time and taxpayer dollars on a ridiculous impeachment inquiry, it is time for Democrats in Congress to focus on issues that matter to all Americans.”