North Dakota's Armstrong Votes Against Impeachment
Thursday, January 14, 2021
BISMARCK, N.D. -- A handful of Republicans in the U.S. House broke ranks in Wednesday's vote to impeach President Donald Trump over last week's riots at the Capitol.
North Dakota's lone congressman was not among them.
Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. The articles charged him with "incitement of insurrection" after he encouraged supporters to march to the Capitol while Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., delivered opening remarks before debate on the House floor.
"He must go," Pelosi declared. "He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."
Other Democrats said the move could prevent Trump from seeking office again, if the Senate convicts and holds a separate vote to block a future run.
During the debate, Trump issued a statement calling for no violence, but earlier this week he said his previous comments were appropriate.
The Senate impeachment trial isn't expected to begin until after Trump leaves office.
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., said the riot was a tragedy, but voted "no" by raising concerns about the process and whether it meets constitutional standards.
Leading up to the vote, Armstrong didn't pull any punches by saying whichever way House members voted, they were largely trying to build credibility with their base in their home districts.
"It's easy to point at me and blame me. It's easy for me to point at you and blame you," Armstrong asserted in remarks on the House floor. "But on Jan. 21, we're all gonna be back here, so use that credibility. Go back and talk some hard truths to talk to your people. I'm going to do it."
However, those who want Trump removed accuse Republicans and their focus on unity as a cover for supporting Trump's unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Many Democrats say lawmakers who voted against impeachment are perpetuating that rhetoric, and should either resign or be expelled from office.
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