Impeachment is not the answer
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, is a day that will live in infamy. A day where the world watched as our United States Capitol, a beacon of hope and a bastion of democracy was overrun by violent rioters. Let me be clear: what happened was repulsive and a stain on our nation.
Those who defaced the walls of history need to be brought to justice and punished to the fullest extent of the law. We are America, a country with deep roots in the power and acceptance of peaceful protests, civil dialogue, and one that strongly rebukes violence in our system of government.
Following this disgusting series of events, Congress resumed its official business to certify the 2020 election results. I joined more than 100 of my colleagues in objecting to the certification of two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Almost immediately, the narrative was born that those who voted to object certification were somehow complicit in the vile events that took place hours before. This is repugnant.
While we may not always share the same political views, the assertation that my colleagues, on either side of the aisle, would have any response to what happened earlier that day other than complete disgust is something that is not true.
Republicans and Democrats quickly came forward to denounce the violence.
I then began to receive the question if my vote on election certification changed based on the earlier events of the day. The answer was no.
I took an oath of office to honor and uphold the Constitution. Will there be difficult days? Yes. Last Wednesday was one of them. Will there be difficult votes in Congress with passionate views on both sides of the aisle? Yes. Again, last Wednesday was one of them.
However, to allow violence to undermine my oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” would be, in my view, to let the rioters win. I refuse to do that.
Now, calls for invoking the 25th Amendment and impeachment of the president have surfaced.
On Tuesday, Republicans blocked an effort to remove President Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment. I agree with this action by my colleagues and let me explain why.
Do I feel that the president could have done more to deescalate the events of this past week? Absolutely.
It is incumbent upon us all to lower the temperature in our communities, homes, and with those who hold different political ideologies than us. You can disagree without being disloyal — let us not forget that.
This is not the first time that impeachment has taken center stage during the Trump administration. Democrats led their first impeachment effort beginning in the House of Representatives in December of 2019. This effort was abruptly put to rest in the Senate a few months later. What good did it accomplish if we are doing it again almost a year later and days away from what I hope will be a peaceful transition of power?
I fear that those who support impeachment are rereading the same playbook yet expecting a different result.
Most importantly, and most alarmingly, I believe that calls for impeachment are about a vendetta against President Trump, and not in the best interests of the American voter.
With less than 10 days left, what benefit do the American people receive from Washington’s latest effort to impeach the president?
At best, impeachment is pouring gasoline onto the rubble that was left by the actions of this past week and questioning if it will burn again.
At worst, impeachment is Washington’s attempt to take one last swipe at a president that will soon be out of office and further divide an already sorely divided republic.
Congresswoman Lisa McClain represents Michigan’s 10th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.