CT’s congressional delegation reacts to House’s vote to impeach President Trump

WASHINGTON (WFSB) – The vice president said he will not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from power, leaving lawmakers to take the road to impeachment on Wednesday.

Connecticut’s Congressional delegation reacted to the House of Representatives voting to impeach President Trump.

The night before, the House passed a resolution urging the vice president to invoke the 25th Amendment, but he rejected it.

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Since Pence ignored the resolution that called on him to invoke the 25th Amendment, the House voted on Wednesday to impeach Trump for the second time.

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The single article of impeachment accuses the president of inciting an insurrection at the capitol.

“We fight like hell,” Trump said on Jan. 6, the day of the riots. “And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

In his first public appearance since the violence, he defended himself.

“It’s been analyzed, and people thought what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.

There were 10 House Republicans voted in favor of impeaching the president.

However, other GOP members called it a waste of time with just a week left in Trump’s term.

Now, more lawmakers are speaking out about the fear and uncertainty they faced while supporters of Trump moved throughout the capitol building last week.

“In the previous impeachment, there were a lot of folks willing to give the president a little bit of doubt because it was not a slam dunk case. I think a lot of folks might be re-evaluating that right now,” said Wes Renfro.

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Wednesday, during impeachment arguments on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Rosa DeLauro supported the impeachment of Trump.

“On Nov. 3, the American people voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to serve as President and Vice President of the United States,” DeLauro said. “The country was about to enter a new era, with great hope for change. Yet, with a decisive mandate and majority, the president used untruthful claims to end the completion of the Constitutional process counting electoral votes, making Joe Biden President of the United States. Not accepting the will of the American people, the President unleashed the most horrific violence that overwhelmed the security forces at this Capitol, which was overrun for the first time since 1812, putting the lives of so many at risk, a day of infamy. This impeachment will be viewed as a transcendent vote, where all will be judged. Vote to impeach the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

Connecticut Rep. John Larson released a statement after the vote on Wednesday:

“Last week for the first time since the War of 1812 our Capitol was under siege. Police were pinned between a door, hit with fire extinguishers and hockey sticks, and dragged. Pipe bombs were found at the DNC and RNC. Five people died. Journalists were attacked. This was a violent insurrection incited by the President. The President and the rioters must be held accountable. President Trump had the time to take responsibility and resign, and Vice President Pence had the opportunity to invoke the 25th Amendment. Since neither of them did as they should, the House today voted to impeach this President for a second time. I applaud the few House Republicans who put nation before party and voted to protect our democracy. This now lies with Senate Republicans and I hope they do the same,” said Larson.

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Larson arrived at Bradley following the vote at the Capitol. He said the security he saw on Wednesday was unprecedented, just like the vote he cast.

“You see now that there are fences all around the perimeter and armed guards circling the whole area, for the first time since I’ve been serving, I’ve never seen anything like it and it took a President of the United States to turn people against his own government. It was a sad day, but it was something that had to be done in terms of accountability,” Larson said.  

Following the vote Wednesday, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes also released a statement saying “I take no joy in casting a vote to condemn one of the darkest acts we have seen in American history. As I cast this vote today, I must now walk amongst thousands of troops deployed to defend our Capitol against insurrectionists. I echo the words of Liz Cheney, leader in the Republican conference, ‘The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’ Today, I cast my vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump in solemn defense of our democracy, respect for our Constitution, and preservation of the Union. I pray that our nation comes together at this harrowing time,” Hayes said.

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Rep. Joe Courtney remembers the terror of just a week ago at the Capitol and on Tuesday he casted his vote to impeach Trump for the second time. 

“This event came very close to shutting down a Constitutionally mandated process,” Courtney said. 

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro says she felt many from the GOP were torn between party and principle. 

“It lasts forever. People have to make up their own minds about where they want to be,” DeLauro said. 

Wes Renfro, an associate dean at Quinnipiac University’s College of Arts and Sciences and a political science professor says the focus will shift to the Senate where a two-thirds majority is needed to remove the president from office. 

“I think there are enough Republican senators who privately believe he should be convicted, but are reluctant to do so for fear of backlashes or being primaried,” Renfro said. 

Renfro says he’s not convinced the Senate will get to the two-thirds majority to convict, but he adds for some senators, public opinion over what happened last week at the Capitol, along with how it could impact their own political future, could sway their vote. 

“I think a lot of people are also concerned about corporate America and the other institutions in America are resoundly rejecting Trumpism. Will it affect their wat to raise money for example, so I think it’s a complicated equation for senators operating in self-interest,” Renfro said. 

It’s not clear if the impeachment trial would start before Trump is out of office on Jan. 20. A conviction would prevent him from running for president again.

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