TWIN FALLS — Two members of Idaho’s Congressional delegation are among the nearly 200 Republicans who voted against impeaching President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
In a 232-197 vote, the House passed an article of impeachment charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” following his role in the protest at the Capitol last week that lead to the death of five people.
Trump encouraged supporters who attended his rally on Jan. 6 to march to the Capitol as Congress met to certify the results of the November election. Ever since he lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden, Trump, has baselessly claimed he lost his bid for reelection due to widespread voter fraud.
While the House’s vote mostly broke along party lines, 10 Republicans joined more than 200 Democrats in voting in favor of the move. Idaho’s Reps. Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher were among the Republicans who didn’t vote in favor of impeaching the president for the second time of his term.
Both Congress members released statements on Wednesday explaining their opposition to impeachment.
In his statement, Simpson called the protest at the Capitol a “dark and tragic moment” for the U.S. He said the country is facing a time of reckoning and that it needs to heal mend its divisions. But this impeachment vote doesn’t bring the country any closer together, Simpson said.
“Today’s vote unfortunately does not put us on a path to healing,” Simpson said.
In his statement, Simpson also said that the House rushed through this impeachment process. Democrats introduced a draft article of impeachment only a few days ago, and Wednesday’s vote took place without any hearings or testimony. When the House impeached Trump in 2019, the process took more than a month.
The impeachment will only drive Americans further apart, Fulcher said in a letter he sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Saturday. In the letter, Fulcher urged Pelosi not to pursue impeaching Trump about a week before his term ends and he leaves office.
“Yet another attempt to prematurely end the Trump presidency by mere days — will not succeed and will only fan the flames of division in our country,” Fulcher said in the letter.
The other half of Idaho’s Congressional delegation — Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo — didn’t publicly comment on the president’s impeachment Wednesday. But they will have a chance to weigh in whenever the Senate convenes to hold its impeachment trial.
This likely won’t take place until after Trump leaves office on Jan. 20. But if the Senate votes to convict Trump, it may bar the president from running for federal office again.