WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Tom Reed of New York voted against a resolution to impeach President Donald Trump in connection with his role in the violent, pro-Trump riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. On Jan. 13, the House of Representatives passed a resolution 232 to 197 to impeach Trump — the only president in United States history to be impeached twice. The process now moves on to the Senate for a trial.
Reed did not speak at the House proceedings on Jan. 13. Democrat and Republican members of the House took turns speaking for or against the articles of impeachment, which passed largely among party lines. Before the proceedings, Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to keep the safety of the U.S. at the forefront of their decisions.
“[Trump] is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” Pelosi said. “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
In reaction to the impeachment movement, Reed and other House Republicans introduced a resolution to instead censure Trump for his conduct.
Reed, who is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, and a longtime Trump ally, spoke before the House on Jan. 7 to condemn the rioters. He addressed the room on the Democrat side of the aisle and defended the country’s need for a peaceful transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, set to begin on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. When the election was called in favor of Biden on Nov. 7, Reed was one of the earliest Republicans to call on Trump to accept the election results.
“We settle our differences through elections, and when those elections are over, we have a peaceful transition of power,” Reed said on Jan. 7 in the wake of the riots. “I will stand with [my Democratic colleagues] tonight and send a message to the nation (…) that what we saw today was not American and what we see tonight in this body shall be what we do in America, and that is transfer power in a peaceful way.”
Ten Republican members of the House voted for the resolution, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who holds the third-ranking position of House Republican Conference Chair. In a Jan. 12 statement, Cheney said Trump was responsible for the chaos on Jan. 6 and that because he broke his oath to his office and the Constitution, she would vote to impeach him. Cheney did not speak at House proceedings.
“The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence,” Cheney said. “He did not.”
In the House’s first impeachment proceedings on Dec. 18, 2019, Reed also voted against both articles. In 2019, Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, two accounts for which he was acquitted by the then-Republican-controlled Senate.
It is not clear what next steps the current Senate will take to impeach the president, as Senator Mitch McConnell stated he would not use emergency powers to bring the Senate back before Jan. 19 for a trial.
“I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell said in a message to Republican colleagues Jan. 13.