Citing ‘Opportunity To Move Forward,’ Rep. Cole Urges Against Impeaching Trump

The violent assault on the U.S. Capitol is “the darkest day” of his profession in Congress, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., mentioned in his opening assertion Wednesday because the House ready to take up a decision to question President Trump.

But pursuing impeachment, Cole mentioned, would solely additional divide the nation. And he famous that the trouble comes one week earlier than Trump is ready to depart workplace.

“I can consider no motion the House can take that’s extra prone to additional divide the American folks than the motion we’re considering at the moment,” Cole mentioned.

He spoke of the necessity to heal the nation — an concept different Republicans additionally mentioned of their quick snippets of allotted time in the course of the two-hour debate. And like others, Cole mentioned the impeachment course of is being rushed.

Cole, the rating member on the House Rules Committee, spoke simply after Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who chairs the committee. Both lawmakers gave their accounts of what occurred in the course of the rebellion on Jan. 6, together with the president’s function in it — and what ought to occur subsequent.

“We are coming off a horrific occasion that resulted in six deaths,” Cole mentioned.

Warning that the method might overshadow the incoming administration, he added, “We have a possibility to maneuver ahead, however we can’t if the bulk insists on bringing the nation by way of the trauma of one other impeachment.”

Urging his colleagues to vote in opposition to impeaching Trump for the second time in 13 months, Cole mentioned there are different cures to final week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol.

“The president is predicted to face litigation over his function in final Wednesday’s occasions,” Cole mentioned. “There shall be legal proceedings in opposition to the perpetrators, and I hope all those that stormed the Capitol shall be dropped at justice. And some members have proposed an alternate process, censuring the president, which might garner important bipartisan assist within the House.”

Here’s how Cole described the occasions of final week, as Congress labored to certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. The following is an excerpt from his speech:

“What began out as peaceable protests changed into a riot, as an untold variety of people stormed the Capitol constructing. Six folks died on account of this mob, and it’s only by the grace of God and the courageous acts of the U.S. Capitol Police, the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police, the FBI, the ATF and different responding companies that there was no more bloodshed. Violent acts similar to these don’t have any place in our republic.

“These surprising and sobering occasions relaxation excessive on our minds at the moment, as effectively they need to. Certainly, Jan. 6, 2021, will reside in my reminiscence because the darkest day throughout my time of service as a member of this House.

“After these grave occasions, we – as a nation, and as an establishment – have a possibility to return collectively. President Trump has conceded the 2020 election. Congress has licensed the outcomes of the election. And subsequent Wednesday, President-elect Biden shall be sworn in because the president of the United States. Congress and the nation can transfer ahead, figuring out that the political course of was accomplished as designed and that the constitutional framework that has ruled our republic since 1789 held agency.

“But as an alternative of shifting ahead as a unifying pressure, the bulk within the House is selecting to divide us additional. With solely every week to go in his time period, the bulk is asking us to think about a decision impeaching President Trump. And they accomplish that figuring out full effectively that, even when the House passes this decision, the Senate will be unable to start contemplating these fees till after President Trump’s time period ends.

“Mr. Speaker, I can consider no motion the House can take that’s extra prone to additional divide the American folks than the motion we’re considering at the moment. Emotions are clearly operating excessive, and political divisions have by no means been extra obvious in my lifetime. We desperately want to hunt a path towards therapeutic for the American folks.

“So it’s unlucky {that a} path to assist therapeutic isn’t the trail the bulk has chosen at the moment. Instead, the House is shifting ahead erratically, with a truncated course of that doesn’t comport with trendy apply and that may give members no time to ponder this critical plan of action.

“In each trendy impeachment inquiry, an investigation and committee motion has preceded bringing an impeachment decision to the ground. In half, that is to make sure that members have full information, the chance to interact skilled witness and have the prospect to be heard. It additionally supplies due course of to the president of the United States, and once more, in each trendy impeachment inquiry the president has been given a possibility to be heard in some type or one other. This is critical in an effort to be sure that the American folks trust within the procedures the House is following. And it is usually obligatory not as a result of the president’s inappropriate and reckless phrases are deserving of a protection, however as a result of the presidency itself calls for due course of in impeachment proceedings.

“Unfortunately, the bulk has chosen to race to the ground with a brand new article of impeachment, forgoing any investigation, any committee course of or any likelihood for members to completely ponder this plan of action earlier than continuing. [George Washington University law] professor Jonathan Turley is appropriate when he referred to as this a ‘harmful snap impeachment – an impeachment that successfully would go to a vote with out the deliberation or inquiries of a standard listening to.’

“Professor Turley additionally famous that ‘the injury attributable to the rioters this week was huge, nevertheless it would pale compared to the injury from a brand new precedent of a snap impeachment…’ If the bulk is searching for consensus, that is hardly the best way to create it. The majority is failing to supply the House with a possibility to assessment all the information – that are nonetheless coming to gentle – to debate all the proof, to hearken to students, to look at the witnesses and to think about precedents. This isn’t the kind of sturdy course of now we have adopted for each trendy impeachment, and the failure to take action does a terrific disservice to this establishment and to this nation.

“Mr. Speaker, I can consider nothing that may trigger additional division greater than the trail the bulk is now taking. Rather than waiting for a brand new administration, the bulk is once more searching for to settle scores in opposition to the old one. Rather than searching for to heal America, they’re searching for to divide us extra deeply.”



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