Jacobs votes against impeachment, invoking 25th Amendment
WASHINGTON — Rep. Chris Jacobs, R-Buffalo, voted against two separate measures – one on impeachment and another to support invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald J. Trump from office.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” Legislators in support of impeachment have said Trump incited the mob that broke into the Capitol building during the ceremonial counting of the states’ electoral votes on Jan. 6.
The measure carried in the House 232 to 197, with all Democrats voting to impeach and 10 Republicans – the most ever from a president’s own party – crossing the aisle. Jacobs voted against impeachment.
In a statement sent after his vote, Jacobs said the “process was rushed, avoided due process, and set a dangerous precedent to further politically weaponized impeachment.”
“Our nation is clearly divided,” he said. “Healing this division and moving the country forward should be our first and foremost priority. This rushed impeachment proceeding accomplishes none of these goals, especially given that the President has agreed to an orderly and peaceful transition of power on January 20th, 2021.”
The articles of impeachment must now be sent to the Senate, where a trial will take place, with House impeachment managers arguing the case and Senators serving as the jury.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he will not call the Senate back to session before Jan. 19, making it unlikely the process will conclude before Trump leaves office.
Wednesday’s vote was the second opportunity for members of Congress to issue a vote on the president’s fitness for office.
On Tuesday night, the House voted to pass a resolution requesting Vice President Michael R. Pence begin the process to remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment.
The vote split largely down party lines, with all but one Republican voting against the measure. New York’s congressional delegation voted along party lines, with 19 Democrats favoring the resolution and seven Republicans, including Jacobs, voting against it.
Jacobs, in a statement released late Tuesday night, said that night’s vote was “political posturing” by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and called on the speaker to “instead work with us to heal the country.”
He said the 25th Amendment “is only intended to be used when a President is incapacitated – not as a means of punishment.”
“Congress has no place in this process and the Vice President’s decision not to invoke the 25th Amendment makes tonight’s vote no more than political posturing from Speaker Pelosi,” Jacobs said. “At a time when our nation cannot bear more division, the Speaker should pull consideration of this resolution from the floor and instead work with us to heal the country.”
A growing number of lawmakers on either side of the aisle have called for the president to be removed from office because of his claimed role in inciting the mob that broke into the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
While some have supported calling for the president’s resignation or impeaching him a second time, others saw the 25th Amendment, which lays out a process by which a president can be removed from office by his Cabinet and vice president, as a viable option.
Despite a letter from Pence earlier Tuesday indicating he would not use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, the House of Representatives moved to pass the resolution anyway.