MORGANTOWN — Wednesday’s U.S. House of Representatives vote on agreeing to impeach President Donald Trump drew the support of 10 Republicans, but none from West Virginia.
The vote was 232-197 and earned Trump the distinction of being the first U.S. President to be impeached twice.
West Virginia’s three GOP representatives, David McKinley-1st District, Alex Mooney-2nd District, and Carol Miller-3rd District, all voted no.
McKinley explained his position in a release sent out before the vote.
He called last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol “both disgusting and tragic.”
He made no apologies for Trump’s behavior but said more “President Trump bears responsibility for this. There is enough blame to go around. The statements of other elected officials, the 24-7 news media that seek out controversy, and social media platforms where going viral is more important than the truth have all contributed to the decay of civil discourse. Words and actions mean something, and reckless rhetoric has real world consequences.”
He cautioned that history is full of poor judgments made in knee-jerk anger, and now House leaders are opting for speed over deliberation, holding no hearings to present facts.
“Any reading of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers shows that impeachment was intended to be a seldom-used tool done through a deliberative process, not a snap judgment of a majority,” McKinley said.
He observed that a leading Democrat questioned the precedent of rushing this process without due process.
“Will the House impeaching the president do anything to prevent further violence from happening, or will it simply inflame an already tense situation,” McKinley asked. A smooth transition should be the primary goal.
“Ultimately, the people responsible for this heinous act – whether they committed violence or incited the crowds – will be held accountable. But right now, it is imperative that we turn down the temperature and restore calm to this country,” McKinley said.
He concluded, “With the benefit of all the facts, it may become evident that the president did indeed commit an impeachable offense. However, with a truncated, rushed process, I can’t fairly make that judgment and will vote against the Article of Impeachment today.”
Mooney had not issued a statement in time for deadline but Miller explained her vote in a release.
She said last week’s criminal acts at the Capitol “have absolutely no place in our society.”
But, she said, “America is in desperate need of healing and unity, not further division. President Trump will be leaving office in one week. That is why I voted today not to impeach President Trump.”
She continued, “While we may disagree on this issue and others, every single member of the House of Representatives wants the same thing for our constituents and our nation – a safe, free, and prosperous country. We might disagree on how we achieve those goals, but our shared values are stronger than our disagreements. Every member, regardless of their vote today or in the future, deserves the respect due to any individual to serve the public to the best of their ability.”
Citing the urgent need to continue the nationwide COVID vaccine rollout, she said, “I am proud of the incredible job Gov. Jim Justice is doing to distribute vaccines across our state. The best way to spend the next week is not to continue to sow division in our nation, but rather spend our time helping our neighbors adopt the highly successful West Virginia model to eradicate COVID.”
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