WASHINGTON, D.C. (KETK) – Several U.S. House members from Texas were among those who spoke during the debate Wednesday at the Capitol on whether to impeach President Donald Trump.
Democrats have charged that the President’s words during a rally last week set off rioters who rampaged through the Capitol and that he is to blame for the violence. Republicans have said the president is not to blame and that those who participated in the storming of the Capitol should be punished.
After the debate, the House voted to impeach the president. The vote was 232 to impeach and 197 not to impeach. Five did not cast a vote.
Louie Gohmert, who represents East Texas, spoke against impeaching Trump.
Gohmert, a Republican and supporter of Trump, pointed out that many people have said things in political speech similar to what the president said and that the words of others were not interpreted as meaning to incite violence.
He noted that Republicans have been labeled “enemies of the state” by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Gohmert, who is from Tyler, complained that Democrats were not going through traditional impeachment procedures. These procedures typically involve calling witnesses and obtaining evidence.
“If you have a whim… just go straight to the (House) floor (for an impeachment vote),” he said of the effort to impeach the president.
“This is so dangerous,” he said. “You are destroying this experiment in self-government. This needs to stop.”
Joaquin Castro, a Democrat who represents the San Antonio area, spoke in favor of impeachment.
“Donald Trump is the most dangerous man to ever occupy the office (of president),” he said.
He encouraged his colleagues to think back to last week on the storming of the Capitol.
Castro said the rioters were “coming here for all of you.” He asked them to consider what would have happened if the rioters had been able to get to them.
In conclusion, he said, “If inciting a deadly resurrection is not enough to get a president impeached, what is?”
Democrat Veronica Escobar, of El Paso, said the storming of the Capitol “was an attempted coup and resurrection.”
She said all involved with and all who “aided and abetted” the storming of the Capitol should be prosecuted, including Trump.
The president should “never be allowed to hold office again,” she said.
Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat who represents the Houston area, spoke in favor of impeachment.
She said that the president “incited insurrection against this very House” and that in doing so violated his office.
Jodey Arrington, a Republican from Plainview, acknowledged that Trump exercised poor judgment but “did not incite a riot.”
He said the “criminals” who stormed the Capitol should be held responsible for their actions.
Instead of focusing on impeachment, he said, “Let’s focus on the future and get back to the people’s business.”
Henry Cuellar, a Democrat who represents areas of South Texas, spoke in favor of impeachment.
“We have to make sure and stand up for democracy,” he said, adding, “I stand for the impeachment of Donald Trump.”
Pat Fallon, a Republican who represents parts of North Texas and Northeast Texas, called the debate “political grandstanding at its worst.”
He characterized what is happening as “snap impeachment” and a “sham.”
“Let’s end this obsession and charade,” he said.
Chip Roy, a Republican who represents Central Texas northwest of San Antonio, said although the president deserves “universal condemnation,” he cannot support the articles of impeachment as they are drafted.
He said that the impeachment effort would serve to “cleanse” political speech, by punishing some who engage in political speech.
Roy encouraged his House colleagues to “sit down and lead this nation together.”