BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The U.S. House agreed Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for an unprecedented second time, claiming he incited the deadly Jan. 6 riot inside the U.S. Capitol.
The Democrat-led chamber voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. Ten Republicans broke ranks with their party and joined Democrats in their support.
Members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation stayed within their party lines. Republican Reps. Steve Scalise, Clay Higgins, Garret Graves and Mike Johnson voted against impeachment. Cedric Richmond, the state’s lone Democratic congressman, endorsed the measure.
“Stand up, man up, woman up, and defend this Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, including Donald J. Trump,” Richmond said Wednesday afternoon on the House floor.
The New Orleans Democrat — who is leaving Congress to join President-elect Joe Biden’s administration on Jan. 17 — labelled his pro-Trump colleagues as “co-conspirators” for suggesting the outgoing president would leave office quietly.
“In their latest attempt to placate and please this unfit president, they suggest we shouldn’t punish Trump for his actions, in order to unify the country,” he said. “That is the climax of foolishness.”
“Richmond out,” he concluded.
Scalise, the House Minority Whip, was the other Louisiana congressman to address impeachment on the House floor. He argued that punishing Trump would sow more division than unity.
“Emotions are still high, but in this moment, we need to be focused on toning down the rhetoric,” the Jefferson Parish Republican said. “In times like these, let’s not reach for our darkest demons but instead, like Lincoln, seek the higher ground.”
Higgins echoed Scalise’s opposition to impeachment in an interview Wednesday.
“We’re very injured, man,” the Lafayette Republican said. “As a nation, we’re hurt, we’re bleeding, and this is not helpful.”
Johnson similarly criticized the Democrat-led impeachment Wednesday. The Bossier City Republican declined an interview request, instead forwarding a written statement.
“The shameful violence that occurred on the Capitol grounds Jan. 6 demands a strong, unified congressional response. This rushed, snap impeachment effort is the opposite of that,” he said. “It involved no regular order or thoughtful deliberation, and is not helping to heal and unify our country — but further divide it.”
Graves, a Baton Rouge Republican, spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network shortly before casting his vote against impeaching Trump.
“I’m not going to sit here and sit on the sidelines and let this happen and leave a destroyed nation to our children and grandchildren,” Graves said. “This is, unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi saying shoot now and aim later.”
The impeachment effort goes next to the Senate, where Louisiana’s Republican senators have remained mum on how they will vote. Sen. John Kennedy, who voted last week to certify electors from Pennsylvania but not from Arizona, declined comment Wednesday. Sen. Bill Cassidy, who upset Trump loyalists by voting to certify electors in those states, also declined comment.
The Senate won’t likely vote on impeaching Trump until after Jan. 20, once he leaves office.
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