Updated: January 13, 2021 06:06 PM
Created: January 13, 2021 05:44 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Congressman Joe Morelle has been adamant that President Trump needs to be impeached from office following the violence at the capitol last week.
He said he knows this will impact generations to come and it's a decision they don't take lightly.
“Literally a Capitol under siege, there are walls being built, there are literally 10s of thousands of national guardsmen here,” Morelle said. “They believe as I do that there remains a clear and present danger."
As the Capitol is fenced in with National Guard members seen sleeping inside while the house debated the second impeachment of President Donald Trump, Morelle said impeachment is the right thing to do.
“Donald Trump’s actions and rhetoric clearly demonstrate that he's unfit for the presidency which is why this afternoon I will be voting to impeach president trump for a second time,” Morelle said.
He said following the deadly Capitol siege on Jan. 6, even with eight days left in Trump’s presidency it's important to move forward.
“I just think there’s a clear and present danger and the fact that we have to hold him accountable and demonstrate to future occupants of the oval officer that there are certain actions that we simply will not tolerate,” Morelle said.
He said he doesn't know if there will be enough votes to convict in the Senate but knows some Republicans are wavering.
“I can tell you that much of the conversation here on the hill is the growing number of Republican senators who actually believe the president violated his oath and not only are his actions impeachable but that it deserves conviction and expulsion from federal office again so I don't know whether there will be a conviction but we'll see,” Morelle said.
He said it's not a matter he takes lightly, but said they have a responsibility to take action even with an incoming administration.
“It is not mutually exclusive to consider a trial of the president for impeachable offenses and the work necessary to start to deal in earnest with not only defeating COVID but making sure that all Americans are vaccinated and we deal with the economic fallout and the racial injustice that we've seen play out against the backdrop of COVID,” Morelle said.
Congressman John Katko was one of the Republicans that broke ties with President Trump and voted yes to impeach, but Congressman Tom Reed said an impeachment against President Trump could stoke further division and says he wants the president held accountable but with another option.
Congressman Tom Reed condemned the president's actions early on but issued a "nay" vote Wednesday as promised.
“I do not support impeachment we have issued numerous statements on the issue I think staff impeachment is not the way to go,” Reed said.
Reed said there needs to be a substantive investigation, respecting due process rights and constitutional free speech.
He said impeaching President Trump could add more division.
“We are seeing indications of tremendous amounts of passion, anger, frustration and further division on the floor of the house, in congress and across Washington D.C.” Reed said.
Reed has co-sponsored a bill to censure President Trump. It would condemn the president for trying to unlawfully overturn the election and that he acted against the rule of law.
“Accountability needs to be completed here and censure I think it is a bipartisan support with a demonstrated bipartisan supported, bicameral supported mechanism that could be that exact tool,” Reed said.
Reed worries that a snap impeachment could tie up Congress after President Trump leaves office and said he wants accountability, but to move forward with a peaceful transition of power.
“Now is the time for us to take a deep breath, now is the time for us to seek calmness, stay calm. Be reason in our responses and rhetoric and go forward with a transition of power on January 20th between now and then in a peaceful and calm manner,” Reed said.
The next step is for the senate to vote, but Sen. Maj. Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will not reconvene until the Biden administration is sworn in.
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