ST. PAUL — Sticking to their plans announced last week, Minnesota's Democratic U.S. representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, and Republican members from the Upper Midwest remained faithful to the president, voting no.
The U.S. House voted 232-197 on Wednesday, Jan. 13, to impeach Trump, making him the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice. The vote came one week after a mob of violent Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, aiming to interrupt Congress' certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win and overturn the election for Trump.
While several House Republicans from around the country broke ranks to vote for impeachment — including the third-highest ranking House Republican, Liz Cheney of Wyoming — Republicans of the Upper Midwest stood by their promises from the past week to vote against the articles of impeachment.
Within 24 hours of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat representing Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, drafted fresh articles of impeachment. Minnesota's four Democratic U.S. representatives — Omar, Angie Craig, Dean Phillips and Betty McCollum — quickly announced their support of impeachment.
Democrats have said the responsibility for the Capitol riot rests at Trump's feet, pointing to a speech he made to rally-goers just hours before the Capitol was breached and lawmakers were forced to evacuate. They also said Trump and down-ballot Republican lawmakers have been lying to their supporters, claiming the election was rigged and stolen although it was not. Impeachment, they've said, is a way to hold Trump accountable.
Republicans, on the other hand, said that removing Trump from office and pursuing impeachment with just a week left in his term will further divide the nation during a time when the American people need to come together and heal.
Here is how members from the Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota delegations voted on impeachment, and what they have to say about their votes:
How they voted
- NO: Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-CD1. After voting "no," Hagedorn in a statement called Wednesday's proceedings "another unwarranted and politically motivated impeachment," saying it "is further dividing an already splintered nation and subjecting the American people to yet another partisan battle."
- YES: Rep. Angie Craig, D-CD2. “Like President Trump, I took an oath to uphold our Constitution and defend our Democracy," Craig said in a Wednesday news release ahead of the vote. "Unlike the President, I intend to uphold mine. After witnessing and experiencing the Jan. 6 attack on our Capitol, it is clear that President Trump asked these terrorists to show up in Washington, assembled them and incited them to march to the Capitol to attack a separate branch of government. For that reason, I am voting today in support of his impeachment.”
- YES: Rep. Dean Phillips, D-CD3. In a virtual news conference ahead of Wednesday's vote, Phillips encouraged his Minnesotan Republican colleagues to "take a hard look at their oaths to office, to take a hard look at, a re-reading of the Constitution."
- YES: Rep. Betty McCollum, D-CD4. McCollum, who presided over Wednesday's floor debate, in a follow-up statement called the Jan. 6 riot a plot of domestic terrorism, and said, "For the safety of our nation, this president must be removed from office before he inflicts more damage to our democracy.”
- YES: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-CD5. "We cannot simply move past this or turn the page," Omar said. "For us to be able to survive as a functioning democracy, there has to be accountability. We must impeach and remove this president from the office immediately so that he cannot be a threat to our democracy."
- NO: Rep. Tom Emmer, R-CD6. After voting "no," Emmer said in a statement that Wednesday's vote "only serves to further the division in our country at a time when our country desperately needs to move forward together."
- NO: Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-CD7. After casting her "no" vote, Fischbach said in a Wednesday news release, "With fewer than seven days remaining in this administration, we should be focused on moving forward and getting back to work on behalf of the American people."
- NO: Rep. Pete Stauber, R-CD8. "I believe efforts to impeach the president contradict the idea of unity and will only further divide our already divided nation," Stauber said after casting his "no" vote Wednesday. "America needs to heal, so I do not support these rushed efforts to impeach the president."
NO: Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D. On the House floor Wednesday, Armstrong said his "no" vote will "give (him) credibility at home with (his) base," which he pledged to "use" to "go back and talk some hard truths to (his) people." He urged his colleagues to do the same.
NO: Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. “There are only a few days left of this presidency," Johnson said on the vote. "Impeachment is the single most divisive thing Democratic leadership could do.”