(LEX 18) — Multiple Kentucky politicians are reacting after President Donald Trump became the first president to ever be impeached twice on Wednesday.
Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) released the statement below regarding today’s House of Representatives vote to impeach President Trump for the second time:
“Never in American history has a President taken such brazen, lawless, and reckless action against our own nation as Donald Trump undertook last week. And yet, while this dark episode was unprecedented, it was entirely consistent with the behavior he has displayed each day for well over the last four years.
“It is an understatement to say that history will not look kindly on this President. But history will also harshly judge a Congress that failed to stop him and a Republican Party that allowed him to evade the law and believe himself a dictator.
“For four years, this President has disgraced his office, trampled rights, ruined lives, and fueled the flames of bigotry and hate. Six people died as a result of his insurrection last week, many were injured and far more remain traumatized whether they were here at the Capitol that day or watched from afar.
“For the second time, I will vote to impeach the President knowing that it is unlikely he will be removed from office before the end of his term.
“I do so because I, like the President, swore an oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic… and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office,’ but unlike the President, I intend to honor it.
“I do so because, last week, Donald Trump committed the most heinous act ever committed by a U.S. President, and I am one of 535 people charged with holding him accountable.
“I vote to impeach the President because it is the right thing to do. And it’s time for that to mean something again.”
U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) released the following statement after voting in opposition to the impeachment of President Donald Trump:
“The President’s rhetoric on January 6th prior to the violence and mayhem at the U.S. Capitol building was regrettable and irresponsible. It was inappropriate for the President to discourage the Vice President from discharging his duties under the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act, neither of which give the Vice President, while acting as President of the Senate, unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not. Moreover, the President failed to appreciate the gravity of the crisis as it unfolded and should have taken more decisive and forceful action to intervene and help diffuse the situation.
“That said, I disagree with my colleagues who claim that the President’s words constituted “incitement to insurrection,” which is what House Democrats specifically allege in their article of impeachment. The U.S. Supreme Court has set the standard for speech that may be prosecuted as criminal incitement without violating the First Amendment. Based on the facts, I do not believe the President’s words, while unfortunate, satisfy the legal definition of incitement.
“But beyond the legal analysis of the President’s words, given the highly toxic and polarized political climate in which we find ourselves, and recognizing that a mere seven days remain in the term of this President during which there is no conceivable prospect for removal by the Senate, I fail to see how impeachment offers the country a constructive path forward toward reconciliation and healing. In fact, I see this vote on impeachment as less about upholding the standards of the presidency and more about carrying out an act of political vengeance, which will further divide an already divided country and pour gasoline on an already scorching fire.
“The President is not blameless. But now is the time for our nation’s leaders to lower the temperature and do their best to unite the country. Last week, President-elect Biden said, “Now it is time to turn the page, to unite, to heal.” I agree with the President-elect and I call on other Democrats in Congress to back up that rhetoric, show real leadership and, for the sake of our country, abandon this politically charged impeachment effort, which will set back any hope for reconciliation and further inflame the passions which have brought our country to this difficult moment.”
Congressman James Comer released the following statement on today’s impeachment vote in the House of Representatives. He, along with Barr, voted against the impeachment of President Trump.
“Today, I voted against yet another attempt to impeach President Trump. With a new President taking office one week from today, it’s time for America to unify as a nation and tackle our biggest challenges. But today’s furtherance of Nancy Pelosi’s obsession with impeaching the President will only raise tensions higher and divide Americans further. Without a fair and deliberative hearing in Congress, this rushed impeachment is nothing but a political stunt by Nancy Pelosi just seven days before President Trump leaves office. In the interest of national unity, House Democrats must set aside their obsession with partisanship and focus on addressing the needs of the American people.”