Republican Congress members from central and northern New York were split on their votes in the House of Representatives for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump.
North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) and Finger Lakes Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) voted against impeachment. Stefanik, in a statement, said she was “vehemently opposed” to it and called it “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,” Stefanik said. “As members of the United States Congress, we should focus on unifying our country by delivering solutions to the American people."
In a call with reporters on Wednesday, Rep. Tom Reed said impeachment was not the way to go.
“It’s not substantively the right thing to do, in regards to not having an investigation, not respecting due process rights, not respecting and raising and debating the issues of constitutional free speech that is involved here,” Reed said. “And also, the division and anger that is being exacerbated by this snap impeachment cannot be underestimated. We are seeing indications of tremendous amount of passion, anger, frustration and further division on the floor of the House, in the Congress, across Washington D.C. and across the country.”
Reed said now is the time to take a deep breath, stay calm and go forward with a transition of power on January 20th in a peaceful manner.
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) was one of just 10 Republicans who split from their party and voted for impeachment. In a statement on Tuesday, Katko said allowing the president to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of democracy.
“It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection -- both on social media ahead of January 6th and in his speech that day,” Katko said. “By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement and division. When this manifested in violent acts on January 6th, he refused to promptly and forcefully call it off, putting countless lives in danger.”
The final vote was 232 in favor and 197 opposed to impeachment. All Democrats voted for impeachment.