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Fred Upton, Peter Meijer join Michigan Democrats in impeaching Trump

Two Republicans from Michigan were among 10 GOP lawmakers to join in the historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump following a siege of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. last week. 

U.S. Reps Fred Upton of St. Joseph and Peter Meijer of Grand Rapids on Wednesday voted to impeach the president after they say he encouraged his supporters to storm the Capitol in a riot that killed five, including a police officer. 

“The president betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the violent acts of insurrection last week," Meijer said in a Wednesday statement just before the vote.  

Meijer and Upton joined all seven Michigan Democrats in supporting the measure. 

"If inciting an insurrection does not warrant impeachment, nothing does,” Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, said during the House debate.  “I took an oath to uphold the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Today, I vote to uphold my oath."

Five of Michigan’s Republican lawmakers voted no on impeachment: Reps Lisa McClain of Romeo, Jack Bergman of Watersmeet, Bill Huizenga of Zeeland, John Moolenaar of Midland and Tim Walberg of Tipton. 

In a rally before rioters stormed the Capitol building last week while Congress convened to count the nation’s electoral college votes, Trump told his supporters to march to the Capitol and “show strength.” After the breach, he said to the rioters in a tweet, “We love you. You’re very special.”

It’s unlikely that the Senate would take up impeachment before Trump’s term expires on Jan. 20, but it could still hold hearings after he leaves office.

Here are the votes and views of Michigan’s congressional delegation.

Voting yes

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, who said “if there are no consequences for a president attempting to siege the legislative branch of our government, the message of permission for undemocratic violence will be heard in this country and in every corner of the world.”

Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, who said “we in this country cannot begin healing and unity without accountability and justice. The president of the United States incited a violence insurrection against Congress.”

Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township, who on Wednesday called last week’s riot a “grotesque orgy of deadly white supremacism, anti-semitism and strong man rule.”

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, who explained her rationale for impeachment in an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press that claimed the “president incited domestic terrorists and an insurrection against the constitutional rule of law.” 

Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, who noted Trump took hours to implore the mob to go home despite calls for help from lawmakers. “He failed to lead and therefore proved himself incapable of doing so,” she said. 

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, who said Republicans are also to blame for the violence for spreading lies about election fraud. "They have torn this country apart,” she said. “They have stoked the fire and then handed the gasoline to Donald Trump.”

Meijer who said he wrestled with whether impeachment is the best recourse to hold the president accountable.  “This vote is not a victory. . .But it is a call for action for us to reflect on these events and seek ways to correct them,” Meijer said in his statement. 

Kildee, who commended Meijer for showing “tremendous courage” for the vote.  

Upton  who said “it is time to say: enough is enough. The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next.”

Nays

Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Romeo, who acknowledged that Trump “could have done more” to quell riots but “impeachment is a backwards-looking tactic when we are all wanting to move our nation forward.” 

Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, who said there is only a week remaining in Trump’s term and impeachment “will only deepen the nation’s divisions at a time of heightened turmoil.”

Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, who said impeachment would only further divide the nation and “derail legislation that would help our constituents.”

No comments: Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, and Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland.

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