LaMalfa, McClintock oppose 2nd Trump impeachment
Republican U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, whose district includes most of Nevada County, voted against the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
The resolution to impeach for “inciting violence against the Government of the United States” passed, with 232 votes in favor and 197 against. Among the “yes” votes were every Democratic member of the House, and 10 Republicans.
The vote came one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol.
In a statement Tuesday, LaMalfa called the then-upcoming impeachment vote “punitive,” and said it “won’t unify the country.“ He added that he did not believe the president had committed an impeachable offense.
Republican U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, whose district includes part of eastern Nevada County, also voted “no” on impeachment Wednesday.
Addressing his fellow members of Congress that morning, wearing a face mask which read, “This mask is as useless as our governor,” McClintock twice referenced what he called a “lunatic fringe,” saying first that every movement has one, and later saying, “The moment any member of this body gives an impassioned speech, and the lunatic fringe of their movement takes license from it, be prepared to answer to this new precedent we establish today.”
Asked if he believed impeachment was the correct course of action, while the vote was still in progress, Nevada County Democratic Party chair Peter Minett answered simply: “Yes.”
“I’ve heard some conservatives say it will only make matters worse, but if inciting a group to do what they did isn’t impeachable, then Donald Trump was correct — he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and and nobody would care,” said Minett, referencing a 2016 campaign rally speech in which Trump said he could “shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”
Minett said he was “deeply concerned what’s going to happen next week as far as violence,” particularly at state Capitols.
President-elect Joe Biden will become president next Wednesday.
He added that he wished he had words of wisdom that could “bring greater peace,” but that vast differences in points of view have made civil conversation difficult.
Bob Hren, the Nevada County Republican Party’s chair, wrote in an email Wednesday that he believed impeachment was “definitely not appropriate because on Jan. 6 President Trump did not call for violence.”
Citing the fact-checking site Snopes, Hren said the president did not explicitly say to “storm,” “breach,” or “break into,” the Capitol.
Hren also pointed to a tweet sent out by President Trump last Wednesday, during the rioting at the Capitol, in which he said, “I am asking for everyone at the US Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!”
“At this time, our nation needs healing but the impeachment motive expressed by Nancy Pelosi, to prevent Trump from running again for President, is an unnecessary political distraction,” said Hren. “And, Trump is publicly calling for a peaceful transition.”
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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