The Senate is expected to finish the trial after Joe Biden is sworn in as president. Missouri and Kansas senators don’t support impeachment.
by Aviva Okeson-Haberman, Kansas News Service
The Missouri and Kansas congressional delegations once again split among party lines Wednesday over whether to impeach President Donald Trump, a second time, for any role he played whipping up a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol.
Democrats blame Trump for inciting a riot that resulted in five deaths and contend that his remaining week in office poses a threat to national security.
Republicans dismissed the effort as part of an ongoing political vendetta, one that would further divide the nation at a time when Trump is on his way out.
Kansas Republican Reps. Tracey Mann, Jake LaTurner and Ron Estes voted against impeachment while Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids was the lone member of the Kansas delegation supporting impeachment. In Missouri, Democrats Reps. Emanuel Cleaver and Cori Bush voted to impeach the president. Republicans Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Sam Graves, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Ann Wagner and Jason Smith opposed the effort.
The partisan divide offers another sign that after a violent attack at the national Capitol last week, Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on a path forward for the country.
Cleaver, the Kansas City Democrat, argued that failing to hold Trump accountable would be an act of political timidity rather than courage.
“No one is expected to be a lion day after day after day,” Cleaver said. “But on this day, lions are required.”
Mann, a western Kansas Republican, said he voted against impeaching the president because removing Trump from office would “lead to further division in our great nation and add to the political chaos.”
“I will not oversee the slow decline of our nation, but instead will work to ensure a bright future for our children and grandchildren,” Tracey Mann said on Twitter.
Hartzler, a Missouri Republican, echoed the criticism that Democrats were dividing the country.
“This latest push by Speaker Pelosi and Democrats to impeach a duly-elected president seven days shy of leaving office does nothing to bridge this gap or work towards President-elect Biden’s declared ‘Unity’ message, instead further dividing our nation,” Hartzler said in a statement.
Davids, the Kansas Democrat representing Johnson and Wyandotte counties, voted for impeachment because she said the country can’t move forward without accountability.
“He is a clear and present danger to our safety, security and our democracy,” Davids said in a Twitter video.
The debate over impeachment didn’t include any witnesses. Estes said in a statement that “turns an important constitutional provision created by the founders into a partisan stunt.”
Bush, a Democrat from St. Louis, said Trump incited a “white supremacist insurrection.”
“We have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives,” Bush said during debate over the impeachment. “The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy — starting with impeaching the white supremacist-in-chief.”
The Senate is not expected to begin the impeachment trial before Jan. 19, according to The New York Times. The four Missouri and Kansas senators, all Republicans, are not expected to vote to convict. Both Missouri’s U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley and Kansas’ U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall challenged president-elect Joe Biden’s win. U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Jerry Moran supported upholding the Electoral College votes, although neither is likely to split from their party to convict Trump.
Blunt told CBS News last weekend that the president’s behavior leading up to the insurrection was “clearly reckless,” but he didn’t support Trump resigning or an impeachment.
“The president touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again,” Blunt said.
Aviva Okeson-Haberman is the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR 89.3. Email her at email@example.com.
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