WASHINGTON, D.C. — The congressman representing Henry County admonished President Donald Trump Wednesday, but said he could not support an impeachment effort.
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, representing Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District, gave Trump at least some responsibility for the riot last week at the U.S. Capitol during a ceremonial counting of the electoral ballots to name Joe Biden president-elect.
“The President’s reprehensible rhetoric leading up to Jan. 6 and on that morning were a moral failure,” Latta said in a release Wednesday.
The U.S. House Wednesday voted 232-197 to impeach Trump a second time.
“There were many instances, one of which occurred during a speech on the National Mall before the mob broke into the Capitol, where the President again pressured Vice President (Mike) Pence to exceed his constitutional duty during the certification of the election. I condemned the violence when it took place, and again, reiterate that I strongly denounce and in no way condone the President’s language prior to the outbreak of mob violence.”
Latta said there should be some accountability, but he would have preferred a motion to censure Trump rather than impeachment.
“House Democrats have chosen to embark upon a historically unprecedented impeachment process, with only seven days remaining in the President’s term,” Latta said. “Today, the House of Representatives impeached a sitting President without calling witnesses, without committee consideration, and it all took place with only hours of debate.”
He added had a motion of censure been brought forth, he would “have strongly considered it to ensure accountability for the horrific events of last week.”
Censure would be a public reprimand of the president. According to their websites, the U.S. House of Representatives has never censured a U.S. president, while the U.S. Senate did it only one time, that being 1834 with President Andrew Jackson.
During his weekly press call with Ohio reporters on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he supported the impeachment and urged Senate Majority Mitch McConnell to call the Senate back into session to hold the trial.
“I support the effort for impeachment and I hope McConnell calls us back to session (today or Friday),” Brown said. “The trial would not be complicated, the evidence is all out there and it could be done in one or two days.”
As of Wednesday, however, McConnell had indicated he did not intend to recall the senators this week. There is a chance the trial could still be held next week in the Senate, possibly even after Trump is out of office and Biden is inaugurated, which takes place Wednesday.
When asked if he thought any GOP senators would turn on Trump and vote to convict on impeachment, Brown responded that would likely be determined by McConnell.
“Whenever McConnell wants something, the Republican senators almost always follow along,” Brown said.
Brown previously called for the resignations of Republican senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri for what he said was adding to the incitement to riot.