COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Each of the U.S. House lawmakers representing Mid-Missouri voted against impeaching President Donald Trump on Wednesday for inciting the Capitol riot.
The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump a week after a mob of the president's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Police killed a woman in the chaos and rioters killed a Capitol police officer. Three other rioters died from medical complications.
The Democratic leadership in the House brought a single article of impeachment -- incitement of insurrection -- this week amid calls for Trump's removal.
U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, and Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, all voted against the impeachment. Missouri's Democratic representatives all voted for impeachment.
Graves said in a statement that impeachment is a waste of time and money that will only divide the nation.
“Speaker Pelosi’s politically-motivated impeachment only further divides a country in need of healing," Graves said. "We shouldn’t be wasting millions of tax dollars on a last-minute snap impeachment that won’t even be finished before President Trump leaves office. As we focus on moving the country forward, it’s time to get back to work on the issues important to North Missouri, like fixing our aging infrastructure, helping our hospitals battle the pandemic and bolstering efforts to protect our communities from flooding.”
Luetkemeyer referenced a quote by Vice President Mike Pence in calling for a time of healing.
"January 6th was a truly horrible day for our country that will leave a lasting scar on our history," he said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the actions of the House in the days since have only sought to deepen the wound. Non-binding resolutions demanding the inappropriate use of the 25th Amendment and rushed impeachment proceedings before law enforcement and intelligence agencies can even complete investigations are the exact opposite of what our country needs and deserves.”
Hartzler said Americans "need healing -- not further actions which tear us apart."
"This latest push by Speaker Pelosi and Democrats to impeach a duly-elected president seven days shy of leaving office does nothing to bridge this gap or work towards President-elect Biden’s declared ‘Unity’ message, instead further dividing our nation," she said in a statement posted on her website.
"It’s already been made clear: Congress certified the 2020 presidential results and this election is over. We owe it to our nation to move past these divisive tactics and work towards bringing America — and our communities — together.”
Trump is the first president to be impeached twice.
All three Republicans representing Mid-Missouri voted last week against certifying some battleground states' electoral votes, citing concerns about the presidential election. Trump and his allies have claimed widespread election fraud in swing states but none of the arguments have held up in courts.
The deadly riot at the Capitol happened as lawmakers were meeting to certify Electoral College votes. The objections to those tallies failed in late-night voting after hours of debate but not before the violence interrupted the joint session of Congress.
Mid-Missouri's House members have all condemned the violence that took place at the Capitol. Federal authorities have charged dozens of people with crimes related to the destruction at the Capitol that included property damage and theft.
It's not clear when the Senate will hold an impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, rejected calls to bring the Senate back immediately.
The FBI has warned of the possibility of more violence leading up to the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in the November election.
Members of the Missouri National Guard have been called up to support security operations in Washington, D.C., from now until the inauguration, a Guard spokesman said Wednesday. He said he could not disclose the number of Guard members who had been activated.