1 Ohio lawmaker breaks ranks for historic vote
FIVE OUT of Ohio’s 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a historic second time on Wednesday, alongside the remaining 227 majority.
But only one of Ohio’s 12 Republican delegates to that legislative body was among them. U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, representing the 16th District, broke party ranks Wednesday to support the impeachment, noting the attack on the Capitol last week put the lives of lawmakers in “grave danger as a result of the president’s actions.”
U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, Voted against impeachment on Wednesday.
Johnson, representing the southern and eastern border counties of Ohio’s 6th District (18 counties including Belmont, Jefferson, Harrison, Monroe, Athens, Meigs, Noble and Washington) also opposed the House’s call for use of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office.
In a statement released Tuesday evening, Johnson foreshadowed both votes, calling on fellow legislators to “stop the political showboating” while acknowledging President-elect Joe Biden’s now-certified win of the 2020 presidential election.
“(L)et the smooth transition of power complete next week, and let’s get back to work doing the work the American people rightfully expect us to do … and, that work is to represent them,” he said.
Johnson also shared similar calls for unity after the Capitol riots.
“A 25th Amendment measure or impeachment will do nothing to help America heal, but will certainly widen the division,” Johnson said. “To intentionally further alienate tens of millions of Americans with raw nerves who already feel alienated economically and culturally by America’s political, corporate, academic, and media elites is both reckless and potentially further destabilizing.”
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also released a statement Tuesday on last week’s attack and one on the impeachment vote Wednesday. His statements differed Johnson’s in assigning responsibility for the riot in Washington last week.
“As I said yesterday, the attack on the US Capitol was an attack on democracy itself, and the President bears some responsibility for what occurred,” Brown said Wednesday. “It was important that the President clearly stated today that violence of any kind is unacceptable.
“Today the House voted to impeach the President for his role in the events of January 6. If the Senate proceeds with an impeachment trial, I will do my duty as a juror and listen to the cases presented by both sides.
“President-Elect Biden has rightly said he wants to set a new tone of greater unity as his administration begins. All of us should be concerned about the polarization in our country and work toward bringing people together. If the Senate conducts an impeachment trial, among my considerations will be what is best to help heal our country rather than deepen our divisions.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has not released a statement on the impeachment trial now expected to occur in the Senate after the transfer of power, but he did release a statement on Jan. 7 supporting the invocation of the 25th Amendment.
“Domestic terrorists attacked our seat of government, at the behest of the President of the United States,” he said, calling the attack a “desperate attempt to overturn the will of the American voters.”
Brown and Johnson could not be reached for additional comment Wednesday.