NASHVILLE — Tennessee and Georgia members of Congress voted along party lines as the U.S. House voted Wednesday to approve President Donald Trump's second impeachment, for "incitement of insurrection" after last week's deadly mob attack on the Capitol.
Tennessee Republican U.S. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah, Scott DesJarlais of Sherwood, Tim Burchett of Knoxville, Diana Harshbarger of Kingsport, John Rose of Cookeville, Mark Greene of Portland and David Kustoff of Memphis all voted no.
The state's two Democrats, U.S. Reps. Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis, voted to impeach Trump. The vote was 232-197, with Democrats and 10 Republicans from elsewhere in the country voting yes.
In a statement, Fleischmann said the "inexcusable and heinous violence that occurred at the Capitol last week was abhorrent and an affront to our Republic. We are deeply divided, and the vitriol, toxicity and animosity towards our fellow Americans have only continued to exasperate this divide. I believe we desperately need to begin to heal as a nation — impeachment would only throw fuel on the fire."
DesJarlais said in a statement that "President Trump's impeachment was held in the court of public opinion. I've found no constitutional grounding for it. If Democratic leadership wanted us to take their stunt seriously, the least they could've done was attempted to present some sort of evidence in a formal trial."
A trial in the Senate is the next step in the impeachment process, but it's unclear how or whether that might convene, given how few days Trump has in office before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.
Cohen charged Trump "never learns. I fear he'll incite another attack on Washington and on our Capitol on Inauguration Day. He's a clear, ongoing danger who could try to go out with a bang. Remove him now!"
At least five people, including a U.S. Capitol police officer, died at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as a mob of furious Trump supporters, egged on by the president himself, charged into the building as the U.S. Senate and U.S. House were certifying Biden's victory from the Nov. 3 election.
Cooper said Trump "played a direct role in the insurrection at our U.S. Capitol building one week ago today. The majority of the House voted to impeach him again today but he should resign immediately. He is a threat to America & cannot be allowed to continue to assault our democracy."
Georgia's 14-member delegation also split along partisan lines, with the eight Republicans voting no while the six Democrats voted for the impeachment.
"The House just voted on the Democrat's witch hunt impeachment scam," Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Rome stated in a tweet. "I proudly voted NO."
U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, a Marietta Democrat, said "in every generation, Americans of all colors & creeds have laid down their lives in the struggle against tyranny, the fight against fascism, and the defense against those who would betray the values upon which this nation was founded."
Other Georgia Republicans voting no were U.S. Reps. Barry Loudermilk, Jody Hice, Rick Allen, Buddy Carter, Austin Scott, Andrew Clyde and Drew Ferguson.
Democrats voting for impeachment were U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson, Lucy McBath, Nikema Williams, Carolyn Bourdeaux, David Scott and Sanford Bishop.
Now the process goes to the Senate, where Republican Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said Wednesday in a statement, "To persist with impeachment now, with just days to go in the current administration, will further divide Americans and exacerbate tensions. Moving forward, it is my sincere hope Congress will work on a bipartisan basis to restore the confidence of the American people in our elections, and affirm our shared commitment to the rule of law."
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