FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Congressman John Yarmuth was the only Kentucky representative who voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
The congressman released a statement Wednesday:
The commonwealth’s five Republican representatives James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Andy Barr and Hal Rogers all voted against the second impeachment.
Republican Sixth District U.S. Rep. Andy Barr released the following statement after voting in opposition to the impeachment:
“The President’s rhetoric on January 6th prior to the violence and mayhem at the U.S. Capitol building was regrettable and irresponsible. It was inappropriate for the President to discourage the Vice President from discharging his duties under the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act, neither of which give the Vice President, while acting as President of the Senate, unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not. Moreover, the President failed to appreciate the gravity of the crisis as it unfolded and should have taken more decisive and forceful action to intervene and help diffuse the situation,” Barr said.
“That said, I disagree with my colleagues who claim that the President’s words constituted “incitement to insurrection,” which is what House Democrats specifically allege in their article of impeachment. The U.S. Supreme Court has set the standard for speech that may be prosecuted as criminal incitement without violating the First Amendment. Based on the facts, I do not believe the President’s words, while unfortunate, satisfy the legal definition of incitement.
“But beyond the legal analysis of the President’s words, given the highly toxic and polarized political climate in which we find ourselves, and recognizing that a mere seven days remain in the term of this President during which there is no conceivable prospect for removal by the Senate, I fail to see how impeachment offers the country a constructive path forward toward reconciliation and healing. In fact, I see this vote on impeachment as less about upholding the standards of the presidency and more about carrying out an act of political vengeance, which will further divide an already divided country and pour gasoline on an already scorching fire.
“The President is not blameless. But now is the time for our nation’s leaders to lower the temperature and do their best to unite the country. Last week, President-elect Biden said, “Now it is time to turn the page, to unite, to heal.” I agree with the President-elect and I call on other Democrats in Congress to back up that rhetoric, show real leadership and, for the sake of our country, abandon this politically charged impeachment effort, which will set back any hope for reconciliation and further inflame the passions which have brought our country to this difficult moment,” Barr concluded.
Fifth District U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers released the following statement after voting against an impeachment:
“What we need in America today is hope for a united and peaceful nation, gaining strength at every corner, not another vote to divide our country from within. President Donald Trump is not our enemy and President-elect Joe Biden is not our enemy. Over the last four decades, I have served alongside six U.S. Presidents, including four Republicans and two Democrats – Biden will be the third. Through different administrations, I have always reached across the aisle and worked to find common ground for the good of the American people, and we need to get back to the people’s business. However, today’s impeachment vote is not the way to bring Americans together,” Rogers said.
“House Democrats have been working to remove President Trump since he took the oath of office four years ago, and this second attempt in his final days of office, only deepens the anguish and the growing political divide in our nation. The violent rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, leading to the loss of innocent lives and damage across this great institution, will rightly be held responsible for their actions to the fullest extent of the law – and that should be our focus,” Rogers continued.
Republican Congressman James Comer released the following statement:
“Today, I voted against yet another attempt to impeach President Trump. With a new President taking office one week from today, it’s time for America to unify as a nation and tackle our biggest challenges. But today’s furtherance of Nancy Pelosi’s obsession with impeaching the President will only raise tensions higher and divide Americans further. Without a fair and deliberative hearing in Congress, this rushed impeachment is nothing but a political stunt by Nancy Pelosi just seven days before President Trump leaves office. In the interest of national unity, House Democrats must set aside their obsession with partisanship and focus on addressing the needs of the American people,” Comer stated.