Partisan Vote, Partisan Reaction Among Area Reps

WASHINGTON – Defenders of President Donald J. Trump were quick to seize on his acquittal on two charges of impeachment brought by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republican senators were near universally united Wednesday afternoon, with the exception of U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. Romney, a frequent Trump critic, joined Democrats to convict the president on the abuse of power charge but acquitted the president on the second count, obstruction of Congress.

Reaction came quickly from members of Congress who represent the region.

“The Senate’s acquittal of President Trump means the national nightmare orchestrated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Jerry Nadler is finally over,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16 Pa. “House Democrats’ partisan abuse of Congress’ impeachment power is a disgrace, and I call on them to help heal the wounds their reckless behavior has caused by working with the president and Republicans on the priorities of the American people going forward.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, reacted along similar lines. The impeachment of the president – which “some Democrats” have discussed since Trump took office – was destined to happen once Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, he said.

“Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and almost every other elected Democrat in Washington were looking for something, anything, over which they could impeach President Trump – it was a predetermined guilty verdict looking for a crime. When they couldn’t find a crime, they seized on an orchestrated, second and third-hand, hearsay account from a ‘whistleblower’ to jumpstart the process. But, if it wasn’t the call with the President of Ukraine, it would have been something else,” Johnson said.

Brad Parscale, manager of the Trump Pence campaign, said the president is “totally vindicated  and it’s now time to get back to the business of the American people. The do-nothing Democrats know they can’t beat him, so they had to impeach him. This terrible ordeal was always a campaign tactic to invalidate the 2016 votes of 63 million Americans and was a transparent effort to interfere with the 2020 election only nine months away. And since the President’s campaign only got bigger and stronger as a result of this nonsense, this impeachment hoax will go down as the worst miscalculation in American political history.”

Earlier today U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, explained why he voted to convict and remove President Trump from office. Brown’s statement emphasized that he “vowed to be an impartial juror from the beginning of this trial.”

Said the senator, echoing his comments on the Senate floor, “Over the course of this trial we heard overwhelming evidence that President Trump did things Richard Nixon never did – he extorted a bribe from a foreign leader, to put his own presidential campaign above the American people he swore an oath to serve. … One of our fundamental American values is that we have no kings, no nobility, no oligarchs in this country – no matter how rich, no matter how powerful, everyone can and should be held accountable.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, yesterday explained why he would vote to acquit the president:

“As co-founder and co-chair of the Ukraine Caucus and someone who is proud to represent many Ukrainian-Americans in Ohio, I have been active for the past several years in helping Ukraine as it has sought freedom and independence since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity that saw the corrupt Russian-backed government of Viktor Yanukovich replaced with pro-Western elected leaders.

“Since first seeing the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky four months ago, I’ve consistently said that the President asking Ukraine for an investigation of Joe Biden was inappropriate and wrong. I’ve also said since then that any actions taken by members of the administration or those outside the administration to try to delay military assistance or a White House meeting pending an investigation by Ukraine were not appropriate, either. But while I don’t condone this behavior, these actions do not rise to the level of removing President Trump from office and taking him off the ballot in a presidential election season that’s already well underway.

For his part, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, did not issue a statement following the president’s acquittal. Instead, his office directed reporters to a post on Twitter.

“Senate Republicans may have voted to acquit, but history will be the ultimate judge. Today is a solemn day for our country,” Ryan tweeted.

Last night, 50 minutes into President Trump’s State of the Union address l, Ryan walked out. This afternoon he posted a video on Twitter that explained why he walked out.

The president was “lying,” Ryan said, and “the lies just started to add up.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.