A week after the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol, the House of Representatives approved an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection. Colorado’s representatives made their choices along party lines, with Democrats voting for impeachment and Republicans voting against.
The final vote for the single article was 232-197, with 10 Republicans following Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney’s vote against the president.
“President Trump’s actions – encouraging, inciting a mob that stormed the United States Capitol, for the sole purpose of stopping the constitutionally-mandated counting of electoral votes – cannot go unanswered by this body,” said Rep. Joe Neguse said during debate on the floor. “He must be impeached.”
Rep. Diana DeGette noted that the last time the House debated impeachment in December 2019, she was presiding over the debate. In the year since she argued the president learned nothing.
“Yesterday, the president said, again, he did nothing wrong,” DeGette said, as she urged a yes vote. “This man is dangerous. He has defied the Constitution. He has incited sedition and must be removed.”
The two Coloradans have been tapped to be two of the nine impeachment managers led by Rep. Jamie Raskin.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi took to the floor first to make the argument for impeachment. “[Trump] must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said.
She argued he has “repeatedly lied about the outcome [of the election results], sowed self-serving doubt about democracy and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeal reality” — it all culminated in a pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol.
“And then came that day of fire we all experienced,” she said. “The president must be impeached and I believe the President must be convicted by the Senate.”
Some Republicans defended the president. Rep. Tom McClintock said Trump was wrong to set a confrontational tone. “But what did he actually say? His exact words were ‘I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.’ That’s impeachable?”
Colorado Springs Rep. Doug Lamborn said in a statement that he condemns the actions of the rioters, “However, it is clear that President Trump did not incite this violence. He clearly called for individuals to peacefully and patriotically make their voices heard.”
That was one line during Trump’s hour plus long speech on Jan. 6 where he continued to repeat baseless claims that the election was stolen. During this speech Trump also said, “And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” minutes before sending his supporters to the Capitol.
Others shifted blame to cancel culture or arguments that Democrats have been pushing for impeachment since Trump first took office. Rep. Ken Buck read off a litany of examples, from spying on the Trump campaign and harassment of Trump supporters to Hollywood “socialists” who espoused violence against Trump and Democratic boycotts of the Trump inauguration.
GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack on Congress.
“He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,” MCarthy said. “These facts require immediate action by President Trump."
He argued that impeachment would further inflame the nation, rather than united them. Colorado’s newest congressional representative — and GOP firebrand — Rep. Lauren Boebert made that point with her pointed speech, where she again called out the “hypocrisy of the left” which she said was on display.
“I call bull crap when I hear the Democrats demanding unity,” she said. “Sadly, they are only unified in hate.”
Many Republicans, also objected to the process — a rush to impeachment.
“Speaker Pelosi gave members just two hours of debate to discuss these rushed articles of impeachment. There were no testimonies under oath, witnesses, sober deliberation, or regular processes of House Judiciary Committee hearings,” Buck said in a statement. “Speaker Pelosi’s rushed impeachment process undermines the Constitutional process.”
Still, Rep. Jason Crow urged his colleagues “to show a fraction of the courage we ask from our troops everyday. Leadership is hard. It’s time to impeach.”
The Senate is not expected to meet again until Jan. 19, a day before Trump leaves office. If the Senate takes up the issue after Trump leaves office it could prevent him from ever seeking federal office again.
A spokesperson for Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet said he supports impeachment, while Sen. John Hickenlooper tweeted that Trump is “on his way out, but I’d support any option to remove him from power faster.”
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