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Rep. Welch: ‘If we want unity, we must have accountability’

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 12:33 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (WCAX) - Vermont’s lone congressman joined fellow Democrats Wednesday in voting for the impeachment of President Donald Trump in the aftermath of last week’s mob attack at the Capitol building.

The House began debating whether to advance an article of impeachment that accuses President Trump of “inciting an insurrection.” Rep. Peter Welch said the U.S. system of government is founded on the principle that all power flows from the people and that the president challenged this principle with deceit and violence. “The deceit is repeated in baseless assertion of an electoral fraud. The violence was the attack on the United States,” Welch said. “If we want unity, we must have accountability.” He concluded that Congress must impeach.

While 10 GOP members joined Democrats in the final vote, many said the rush to impeach denied the president his right to defend himself and could further fragment the country.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, one of those to vote no issued a statement prior to the vote:

“I am vehemently opposed to the snap impeachment of President Trump. It is a partisan ploy with no basis in the Constitution. The Democrats’ decision to impeach the President with one week remaining in his term further fuels the divisions in the country during this very trying time. As Members of the United States Congress, we should focus on unifying our country by delivering solutions to the American people.”

House lawmakers will continue to debate the article of impeachment Wednesday afternoon.

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