Virginia lawmakers react to impeachment of Trump on incitement of insurrection charge


(WAVY) — On Wednesday, President Donald Trump became the only American president to be impeached twice.

This time, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on an incitement of insurrection charge relating to events Jan. 6 in Washington D.C. that left five people dead — including a Capitol Police officer — and the Capitol building damaged.

The House vote was 232-197. Ten Republicans joined Democrats in the vote to impeach.

Here’s what lawmakers from Virginia said after the impeachment vote Wednesday:

U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.)

“President Trump is responsible for the insurrection that occurred at our Capitol last week and our county can’t begin to heal until those who are responsible for the attack on our democracy are held accountable,” said Congresswoman Luria. “I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and today I fulfilled that solemn obligation. History will look back on this moment to see who stood strong in support of American democracy.”

Watch Luria’s full remarks from Wednesday here.

U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.)

“What happened on January 6th is completely unacceptable, undemocratic, un-American, and criminal, and I condemn – in the strongest terms possible – the attack against the US Capitol and the United States system of government. This was a senseless attack perpetrated by misguided individuals who were led to believe that something could have been done that day that would have changed the outcome of the election. January 6th was a day that will be remembered as one of the most shameful in our Nation’s recent history.

“President Trump leaves office on January 20th – in seven days – and has promised a peaceful transition of power. My vote against impeachment in no way means I agree with the President’s actions and statements leading up to the storming and illegal entry of the Capitol building, but I believe impeaching the lame-duck President before the peaceful transition of power occurs will only further inflame emotions and further divide the Nation. Our focus now needs to be on unifying our Nation and moving forward as one, and I believe impeachment does the opposite. I am fully committed to rebuilding the trust of the nation over my next two years as your Member of Congress.

“Now is the time to turn the page. Joe Biden will be President of the United States and Kamala Harris will be our Vice President. The peaceful transition of power will occur on January 20th, just as it has every four years since 1792. I wish President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the blessings of good health and sound judgement as our Nation navigates these unprecedented times. I am focused on working with their Administration to improve the lives of my constituents and all Americans.

“What we saw on January 6th is not the best of America, but I remain hopeful that our Nation can overcome these difficult times and emerge stronger. It is together that we will face the future, and we shall do so as one Nation. I promise to do my part to unite the country, help to heal our Nation, and work on solutions to America’s challenges. I am praying for our Nation as we move forward as one. May God Bless America.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

Virginia Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)

“In his final thoughts 6 months ago, Rep. John Lewis wrote that ‘Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and every generation must do its part….’ Today, the U.S. House of Representatives did its part by taking action to defend American democracy and hold President Trump accountable for inciting violence.

“Last week, the President encouraged an armed mob to take by force what they could not win at the ballot box. President Trump’s actions go against the principles of American democracy – principles that millions of Americans have fought and died to preserve. Today’s bipartisan vote to impeach the President sends a clear message that our democracy is stronger than any individual or any group that threatens it. The Senate should follow and vote to convict and remove the President.

“President Trump’s actions continue to pose a direct threat to Americans. Pro-Trump groups are planning armed rallies at the U.S. Capitol and at all 50 state capitols. As the Senator who represents the Virginia State Capitol, I know that President Trump’s incitement potentially puts my constituents at risk of future violence. Today’s vote was a critical step to protecting Americans and restoring our democracy.

“Today, Congress voted to protect our government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We look forward to January 20th to secure the peaceful transition of power that the American people demanded on election day.”

This story will be updated.

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