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WI Vote for Impeachment Falls Along Party Lines

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Wisconsin's three Democratic members of the U.S. House voted "yes" on impeachment, while all five Republicans cast a "no" vote. (Adobe Stock)
Wisconsin's three Democratic members of the U.S. House voted "yes" on impeachment, while all five Republicans cast a "no" vote. (Adobe Stock)
January 14, 2021

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- 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.

However, Wisconsin's delegation saw no movement beyond party lines.

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.

Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis. from Milwaukee, said she voted yes on impeachment not because of partisanship, but because she felt the country needs to protected from Trump's rhetoric.

"Even though it's only seven days before the end of his term, we have the fierce urgency of now," Moore insisted in her remarks on the House floor. "Seven days is too long for him to be in power."

Other supporters of the move say it could prevent Trump from seeking office again, if the Senate convicts and votes afterward to prevent a future run.

During the debate, Trump issued a statement calling for no violence, but earlier this week said his previous comments were appropriate.

The Senate impeachment trial isn't expected to begin until after Trump leaves office. All five House Republicans from Wisconsin voted "no," including Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis. from northwestern Wisconsin, who said it's time for both parties to "turn down the temperature."

Tiffany accused Democrats of rushing the process for political retribution.

"Madam Speaker, Joe Biden has talked about unity and healing. Is that what this is today?" Tiffany asked.

But Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis. from Madison, suggested that moving past the Capitol siege without accountability would have been the wrong thing to do.

"And we all know, whether you say it aloud or not, Donald Trump is responsible for inciting the attacks on our democracy; that he should have been the one person protecting it the most," Pocan remarked.

Those who want Trump removed accuse Republicans and their focus on unity as a cover for supporting the president'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.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - WI