The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to impeach President Donald Trump, making him just the third sitting United States President to be charged by Congress.
As expected, the vote broke along party lines, with the Democratic majority in the House led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi voting for the two articles of impeachment by votes of 230-197-1 and 229-198-1. Two Democratic Congressmen opposed both articles, while another voted for one but not the other. Democrat Presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard voted ‘present.’ No Republicans supported the articles of impeachment.
Of Mississippi’s four U.S. Representatives, all three Republicans – Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Trent Kelly (MS-01) and Michael Guest (MS-03) – opposed the articles of impeachment, while the state’s lone Democrat Congressman Bennie Thompson (MS-02) supported his party’s efforts to unseat the Republican President.
Thompson went so far as to tweet his pride in casting his vote in favor of impeachment.
I was proud to uphold my oath of office by defending the Constitution and representing the people of the 2nd Congressional District of Mississippi.
— Bennie G. Thompson (@BennieGThompson) December 19, 2019
Thompson, the dean of the Magnolia State delegation, also took to the House floor saying “no one is above the law… no intelligent person believes what he (Trump) is saying.” (video below)
— House Democrats (@HouseDemocrats) December 18, 2019
Congressman Palazzo issued a statement strongly opposing impeachment, saying, “Today’s vote proves Democrats don’t trust Americans and reject our democratic process. I am adamantly opposed to these articles of impeachment because they are nothing more than another attack against our president. The core argument of the Democrats collapsed, and they still decided to ram this partisan impeachment down the throats of the American people… Today’s hyper-partisan decision to impeach President Trump in the House is merely a check off the liberal agenda heading into the 2020 election.”
Palazzo said in a video he asked Democrats to stop “this sham,” but they didn’t listen.
I have asked Democrats in the House to stop this sham, end the charades and return to the normal work for the American people.
They didn’t listen.
The same way they’re not listening to the 63 million Americans who voted for President Trump. pic.twitter.com/JKO4TQ0PMZ
— Cong. Steven Palazzo (@CongPalazzo) December 18, 2019
Congressmen Kelly and Guest, both former District Attorneys, rose to speak against the impeachment vote, saying there was zero evidence or facts to support the partisan vote.
— Trent Kelly (@RepTrentKelly) December 18, 2019
Earlier today, I spoke on the floor of the House to express my disapproval of the dangerous precedent set by the Democrats’ impeachment effort. pic.twitter.com/48cAItYef3
— Congressman Michael Guest (@RepMichaelGuest) December 18, 2019
With the articles of impeachment passed by the House, the attention now turns to the U.S. Senate where Republicans are in the majority and it is likely to meet a swift end, at least that is the hope of Mississippi two sitting Republican Senators – Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith.
Wicker released a video following the vote in the House, saying “House Democrats made a historic mistake today.” The senior Senator expects the President to be acquitted in the Senate where he will be treated fairly, unlike in the House.
Senator Hyde-Smith issued this statement in the wake of the impeachment vote:
“These votes have been a long time coming. Democrats have wanted impeachment since the day President Trump won the election in 2016. I’ve followed the House Democrats’ partisan hearings, and I haven’t heard or read anything regarding the charges against the President that rise to the level of impeachable offenses.”
Hyde-Smith went on to say, “Any attempt to remove a sitting President is a very serious matter. We don’t know the framework for a Senate trial, but I am confident the President will be treated more fairly in the Senate.”
The junior Senator’s likely Democrat opponent in the 2020 cycle, Mike Espy, challenged Hyde-Smith in a tweeted statement asking, “How can you take the juror oath in one breath and violate it in the next?”. However, he continued to be evasive about whether he would vote to remove President Trump at an ultimate Senate trial or not.
#Impeachment is a serious matter for our nation and should not become subject to fits of hyper-partisanship. My question to Senator Hyde-Smith is: how can you take the juror oath in one breath and violate it in the next? See my full statement below: pic.twitter.com/ZW9L87znH3
— Mike Espy (@MikeEspyMS) December 19, 2019
Mississippi’s Governor Phil Bryant and other Republican officials were quick to share their disdain for the impeachment vote, tweeting:
This is a day that will be remembered in infamy. pic.twitter.com/vjCobN6J7j
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) December 19, 2019
The Democrat impeachment show is a farce. We will keep lifting our President and his family in our prayers. Thanks to our conservative Republican Congressmen and Congresswomen who are voting against the sham impeachment. pic.twitter.com/y01HJATpHB
— Commissioner Andy Gipson (@CommAndyGipson) December 19, 2019
The Mississippi Republican Party tweeted at Congressman Thompson, saying he voted against his district’s interest and for his own power and clout. Thompson responded by saying, “My district interests are not in line with the GOP.”
My district interests are not in line with the GOP. https://t.co/0C2WL44mvi
— Bennie G. Thompson (@BennieGThompson) December 19, 2019
The impeachment charges as passed by the U.S. House should now head to the Senate, but how that process proceeds may also be politically motivated as Speaker Pelosi has now indicated that the House may hold the articles to first see how Senate Republicans will call these up for consideration.
No time line currently exists on when the Senate may take a vote on the House charges.