The House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump Wednesday for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Local lawmakers are reacting to the historic vote:
Sen. Bob Casey
“This is a sad day in our Nation’s history. When it was revealed in September that President Trump pressured a foreign government to investigate a political opponent, I believed it was a textbook case of abuse of power that demanded action. As a result, I have supported the House inquiry since its initiation this fall. This investigation has been conducted in a deliberate, fair and serious manner reflective of the grave nature of the charges against the President. The Founding Fathers gave the United States Senate the grave responsibility to ‘try all impeachments,’ and we have a constitutional obligation to conduct a fair and thorough trial. Every Senator will swear an oath to hear evidence as an impartial juror, and we owe it to the American people to fairly consider all available information related to these articles of impeachment. As a juror I will carefully consider all of the evidence in accordance with my oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Sen. Pat Toomey
“Today marks the culmination of a highly partisan process that achieved a longstanding goal of many House Democrats: impeaching President Trump.
“It is my hope that the process in the Senate will be fair, unlike the process in the House where the controversial tactics used by Speaker Pelosi and Chairmen Nadler and Schiff broke with bipartisan precedent and denied the president the due process rights afforded to past presidents.
“In a Senate trial, House impeachment managers should be permitted to make their case, and the president’s lawyers should be able to make their defense. At the conclusion of these presentations, the Senate can then decide what further steps may be necessary.”
Rep. Dan Meuser
“Tonight marks the culmination of a nearly three-year effort to nullify the lawful election of President Donald J. Trump. Since the day he was sworn in, the priority of House Democrats has been to scrutinize, delegitimize, charge with crimes, and remove from office the duly-elected President of the United States.
“The process, players, and underlying proof at the heart of this impeachment have been fundamentally flawed and brazenly biased.
“Democrat leadership has stacked the deck at every stage of this process: cherry-picking rehearsed witnesses, hiding exculpatory evidence, limiting dissenting views, and denying the President meaningful participation and due process.
“Chairmen Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff have led this impeachment process by presuming the President’s guilt and racing towards a predetermined outcome. Chairman Nadler, along with two-thirds of the Democrat Judiciary Committee membership, voted to advance impeachment before any call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky took place. Equally disturbing, Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff has a record of being untruthful to the American people about the details of his investigation, basic facts, and his staff’s interaction with ‘the whistleblower.’
“Even with a flawed process led by partisan players, Democrats still failed to provide any proof of Presidential wrongdoing. After months of polling and focus group testing aimed at creating the most politically advantageous allegations against our President, Democrat leadership arrived at ‘abuse of power’ and ‘obstruction of Congress.’ These vague terms attempt to mask the fact that months of congressional investigations have produced one simple and undeniable fact: President Trump did not commit an impeachable offense.
“Not only are these articles vague, they are easily dispelled. President Zelensky’s confirmation of ‘no pressure’ and ‘no quid pro quo’ immediately negates the validity of any charge of Presidential ‘abuse of power.’ The President has inherent Constitutional executive authorities and privileges. If House Democrats classify the utilization of those authorities as an ‘obstruction of Congress,’ every President since Jimmy Carter – and every President moving forward – would and will be impeached.
“Democrat leadership failed to exhaust all Constitutional avenues to settle a dispute between the legislative and executive branches. Fearing it would slow down the neck-breaking pace of their impeachment proceedings, Speaker Pelosi actually said, ‘we cannot be at the mercy of the courts.’ If you refuse to engage with the Judicial branch, you forfeit your right to assert ‘obstruction of Congress.’
“This entire year has been a period of opportunity lost. Rather than working to improve the lives of the American public, this Democrat-led Congress has focused its full time and attention on passing partisan legislation and driving political outcomes. I look forward to the new year of 2020 and enacting legislation to benefit seniors, veterans, farmers, and families. As the Senate will hold a fair trial to evaluate this case – without presumption – I am 100 percent confident the President will not be removed from office. In spite of the Democrats’ desperate tactics to win the White House by removing the President, the people will ultimately decide who will be elected in 2020.”
Rep. John Joyce
“The path to today’s vote on the Articles of Impeachment began on November 8, 2016. Since his election, Democrats have sought to sabotage President Trump, to obstruct his work to serve the American people, and ultimately, to remove him from the office to which he was democratically-elected.
“On this dark day for our nation, House Democrats impeached President Trump not for a crime, but simply because they do not like him and fear that he will be re-elected next year. From the beginning, this impeachment process has not reflected American values – it has not been fair, nor has it been transparent. House Democrats have deprived President Trump of due process and have defrauded the American people.
“Rather than facts, this process has revealed the depth of Democrats’ disdain for President Trump and for the Americans who elected him. As the Representative for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, I voted against the Articles of Impeachment not only to protest this sham process, but more importantly, to protect my constituents’ right to have a voice in our American democracy.”