Political leaders react to historic impeachment
"His remarks, his actions, particularly relative to the Constitution to undermine, totally, our bedrock of our democratic principles was wrong," Michigan Republican Congressman Fred Upton, said.
Upton voted in favor of impeaching President Trump, but said he did not believe impeachment was the right course of action for Congress to take. Instead, he said Congress should have passed a resolution of censure, which would have been a public reprimand of the President.
"It would have been more bipartisan," Upton said. "What will happen now in the Senate, because they're going to take it up right away next week, is that this will undermine the very efforts of the Biden Administration to get out of its blocks, they try to start the legislative action, they try to get their cabinet members confirmed."
Congressman Jim Banks, a Republican who represents Northeastern Indiana joined Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, another Indiana Republican, in voting against impeachment. Banks said the president may have exhibited "bad judgement" but did not do anything that would constitute a high crime or misdemeanor, which is what the Constitution says the President must commit in order to be impeached.
Banks denied that President Trump incited an insurrection because he said the President told his supporters to go to the Capitol and "make your voices heard peacefully."
"Is he a perfect president?" Congressman Banks said. "Of course not. Has he made mistakes? Yes. He's not perfect. None of us are perfect, but he does have a strong record in areas where I've supported him over four years from rebuilding to military to growing our economy."
Banks said impeachment now would only serve to further divide the country.
"At a time when America needs to be united more than ever in my lifetime, Democrats are doing everything they can to divide us even further by moving forward with this impeachment just seven days before Donald Trump will be leaving office anyway," Banks said.
Elkhart County Democratic Chairman Chad Crabtree said the President must be removed from office, but that the Senate should wait to hold the trial until after Joe Biden's first 100 days in office.
"I know if they start the trial, legislation as we know it comes to a halt," Crabtree said. "That means Biden cannot do any of his reforms any of his legislation that he wants to."
Crabtree went on to say Congress should ban President Trump from ever holding public office again. Meanwhile, Congressman Jim Banks said he did not vote for Joe Biden and disagrees with a number of his proposals, but said he will support a peaceful transfer of power on January 20th.
"All Americans should celebrate that peaceful transition of power," Congressman Banks said. "I'm glad the president has recently and repeatedly committed to a peaceful transition of power."
Banks said he would like Congress to establish a bipartisan committee to investigate how the rioters were able to break into Senate and House chambers and hold those responsible for allowing that accountable. So far, Congress has taken up no such legislation.