ST. GEORGE — Utah’s all-Republican congressional representatives joined with the 193 other members of Congress on Wednesday in voting against the second impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Reps. Blake Moore, Burgess Owens, John Curtis and Chris Stewart each voted against the impeachment of the president which passed in a 232-197 vote. The impeachment comes with accusations that Trump purposefully incited insurrection in connection with last week’s protest that resulted in the storming of the U.S. Capital by protesters.
At the time, a joint session of Congress was counting and certifying electoral votes that ultimately pronounced President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Trump and his supporters have long maintained the election was corrupted due to allegedly unlawful changes in state-level voting rules and various claimed irregularities.
Utah’s congressmen have said the move for impeachment only serves to deepen the political divide in the country, while also taking place too quickly to be fair and thorough.
Moore said in statement Wednesday that the impeachment was being rushed and set a dangerous precedent.
A rushed impeachment will set as dangerous a precedent as a misguided attempt to overturn state-certified elections. Without a single hearing or investigation, I simply cannot reach the high bar of impeachment. Instead, I have joined nine colleagues in introducing a censure resolution that I believe will provide a swifter and more constitutional path to accountability. I have also requested to join a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack on January 6th. To my critics—and there will be many—please know that this was the most painful decision I have ever made in my life. Other members of my party will vote to impeach, and after countless conversations with them, I know their motives are pure, and I believe we share the same desire for a more productive and unified America.
Curtis and other Republican members of Congress introduced a concurrent resolution on Tuesday to condemn and censure Trump rather than impeach him. In a statement regarding the resolution, Curtis said the Congress should conduct a full impeachment inquiry.
Curtis also joined his voice with that of Reps. Chip Roy and Dan Crenshaw, both R-Texas, and Nancy Mace, R-North Carolina, in the following statement released following their voting “no” on impeachment.
The statement reads in part:
Unfortunately, rather than conducting a sober review of the facts through hearings and establishing the legal standards under which we would review all that transpired, our Democratic colleagues are rushing impeachment articles through the House of Representatives and beginning to target members of Congress as well with threats of blanket censure, devoid of specific examples of individual members’ actions. Taking these paths undermine due process as established in the Constitution and inflames an already starkly divided nation by politicizing what should be a serious and thoughtful bipartisan review …
Owens also issued a statement on the impeachment.
With only seven days until President-elect Biden takes office, any debate on impeachment will not only deepen the divide, it will also be rushed, purely political, and distract from the unprecedented challenges facing Utah families. The articles raise serious Constitutional questions that deserve a full hearing and considerable debate. The constituents in my district want elected officials to get to work and look to the future, and that is what I am committed to do.
Stewart’s office could not be reached Wednesday for comment concerning his vote against impeachment.
Alliance for a Better Utah, which called for the resignation of Owens and Stewart for voting to not accept certain electoral college votes last week, issued a statement of their own condemning Utah’s congressmen for not supporting the impeachment.
“The 1.6.21 attack was an attack on all of us. And today, 232 Representatives, including Representatives from the President’s own party, took a stand for democracy, impeaching a president who incited the deadly mob and still refuses to admit his role in the violence,” Chase Thomas, executive director of Alliance for a Better Utah, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Representatives John Curtis, Blake Moore, Chris Stewart, and Burgess Owens betrayed their constituents and their country when they voted to let Trump get away with it. Utahns expect integrity from our leaders in Congress, and today they failed us,” he said.
Thomas went on to praise Sen. Mitt Romney for his continuing to speak out against Trump and hopes the senator will use his influence to convince senate leaders to convene and convince Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has already stated he will not convene the Senate for an impeachment vote before Trump leaves office.
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week,” McConnell said in a statement following the House vote.
Romney and Sen. Mike Lee have yet to issue any statement regarding the impeachment. However, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, Romney said Monday that, “when the president incites an attack against Congress, there must be a meaningful consequence. We will be considering those options and the best course for our nation in the days ahead.”
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