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Florida representatives speak out after impeachment of President Trump

Posted at 10:49 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 23:25:51-05

The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time, marking the fourth impeachment of a US president in history. Trump also became the first president to be impeached by the House twice.

Congress admonished his role in last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol that killed five people. Ten Republican representatives, including Liz Cheney, R-Wy., the GOP caucus' third-ranking members, were among those who joined the Democratic majority in voting in favor of impeachment.

RELATED: Impeached again; Trump becomes first US president to be impeached twice

The final vote was 232 in favor compared to 197 opposed.

What happens next in the impeachment process is unclear. Trump, whose term comes to an end on Jan. 20, will likely remain in power until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

ABC Action News reached out to several Central Florida representatives to get their statements on the impeachment. Their statements are listed down below:

Representative Daniel Webster:

"Due to family medical obligations, I am unable to travel to D.C. for tonight and tomorrow’s votes. Given we are nearly a week from Inauguration Day, it will be nigh impossible for Congress to follow the impeachment trial process as outlined in the Constitution by January 20th and the process will further divide our country. America is hurting and upset. Now is not the time to throw more fuel on a fire. We should focus on bringing to justice those who attacked law enforcement and the U.S. Capitol last week and ensuring a safe Inauguration Day as prescribed in our Constitution.

"We are a country of laws and order, all Americans, regardless of how they feel about the 2020 election results must abide by processes outlined in law and our Constitution and work together to tackle the issues facing our country.

"There are millions of peaceful, hardworking, Americans who love their country, the constitution and the rule of law that voted for President Trump. They do not support the actions of the violent mob on January 6, 2020, nor do those actions represent the America they love and desire to uphold for their children.

"I will continue to speak in support of and propose and advocate for policies that will build a stronger, more prosperous America and empower Americans for generations to achieve success. I continue to pray that each of us would seek to serve others, not ourselves and treat others with kindness and respect. Unkindness and hatred cannot coexist with serving others."

Representative Gus Bilirakis:

“Last week's chaotic events were very troubling. Let me first say in unequivocal terms that violence is never justified. I strongly condemned it when it occurred on the left, and with equal vigor, I condemn what took place last week. While I support the Constitutionally-protected right to a peaceful protest, the lawless images we saw of people ignoring law enforcement directives, battling with authorities and vandalizing the Capitol were a stain on our democracy. Those who broke the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. I also strongly support a thorough, non-partisan investigation into the planning failures that allowed these tragic events to transpire. As we work to ensure accountability for those who committed criminal acts, I remain extremely grateful to all of those in law enforcement whose brave actions prevented further destruction of public property and greater loss of life. Many were injured in the line of duty, and of course, my thoughts and prayers remain with the family and colleagues of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick who died as a result of his injuries. May his memory be eternal.

While I have not agreed with many things the President has done and said over the past week, the Speaker's politically-motivated impeachment procedure is a highly polarizing ruse that will only further divide Americans. Continuing to play the blame game and engaging in dramatized theatrics only inflames a very unfortunate situation. It further alienates millions of Americans who distrust our political processes, have concerns about the direction of our country and feel that their voices are being silenced. It will only fuel the anger and frustration that exists. We need to get outside the echo-chamber of Washington, find common ground and focus on the real challenges that families across our nation are experiencing.

Aside from this being a counterproductive measure as we try to unite our nation, this emotion-fueled reckless action sets a very dangerous precedent for our country. The House voting to impeach the President without listening to eyewitness testimony or reviewing a single piece of evidence is a violation of due process and a significant, undemocratic deviation from past procedures. The lack of transparency and the rush to action with less than a week remaining in this President’s term reeks of political expediency. Removing a duly elected President from office is a very serious proposition. I am genuinely concerned that this action will make it easier for future leaders to circumvent the will of the people and remove a future President without cause. In October of 2019, Speaker Pelosi, herself issued a letter “establishing the procedures for impeachment hearings that were open to the American people, authorizing the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlining the transfer of evidence to respective committees and setting forth due process rights for the President and his counsel.” Yet, as she rushes to make history in impeaching President Trump for a second time she has failed to even give the pretense of creating an impartial process.

The long-term success of our country is dependent on our willingness to work together as one team for the greater good. We have serious problems that require the attention of thoughtful, principled, solution-oriented leaders. I remain committed to working in such a manner as we prepare for a peaceful transition of power later this month. All of my constituents can be assured that I will continue to defend conservative principles and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we seek free-market solutions to restore our way of life, rebuild our economy, and renew the American dream."

Representative Charlie Crist:

“History will forever mark the day a sitting United States President incited an armed mob to attack the U.S. Congress ceremonially certifying the will of the American people in a free and fair presidential election.

“The first time the House voted to impeach President Trump, I said that I took no joy in impeaching a President who acted above the law. Today is also joyless. But it’s with a profound sense of urgency to protect and defend the American people and our democracy that we must act.

“President Trump, through action and deed, has proven to be unfit, unable, and unwilling to faithfully discharge his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He is a clear and present threat to our nation and must be impeached and convicted by the Senate.”

Representative Kathy Castor:

"His depraved incitement of an insurrection last week simply demands accountability and our remedy under the constitution is impeachment. I know a lot folks say well Joe Biden will take the oath of office next week so why can’t we just let this pass. We cannot let this pass. This is the most serious betrayal of the Constitution by a president in the history of our great country."

Representative Scott Franklin:

“Last Wednesday, January 6th, will be remembered as one of the darker days in American history. The violent attacks on our nation’s capital, THE symbol of American government and seat of our democracy, were deplorable and cannot be tolerated. They were un-American, anarchist and counter to all that has made our country a “shining city on a hill” for the past 244 years. There is never an excuse for the violence I experienced firsthand that resulted in the deaths of five Americans.

“However, impeaching the president with one week remaining in his term will only serve to create further division in an already painfully divided nation. The peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next is a time-honored tradition that should be used as a time of healing and not as an opportunity to further flame our radical divisions. The priority of Congress should be to investigate the lapse in intelligence and vulnerabilities on the Capitol complex to stop future incidents from occurring.

“Furthermore, the rush to impeach with no opportunity to conduct hearings, prepare a defense or follow due process is how rogue nations remove duly elected leaders of government, not the United States of America. Despite everything that has happened, our democracy has a sacred duty to rise above the passions of the moment and lead by example. This accelerated process to ignore constitutional due process on an outgoing president sets a dangerous precedent, simply for the sake of political opportunism. Now is the time to unite Americans and move forward. For that reason, I voted against the articles of impeachment.”

Representative Vern Buchanan:

From Facebook:

"Today I voted against the impeachment of President Trump because the rushed effort to remove a president from office six days before he leaves office is divisive and misguided. Congress should be focused on helping people get the COVID vaccine and on efforts to reopen the economy and our schools. Nancy Pelosi’s unprecedented decision to launch a second partisan impeachment in 13 months sets a dangerous precedent and further polarizes an already divided country."

Representative Val Demings:

From Twitter:

"Today I voted to impeach the president for his role in inciting last week's violent insurrection in Washington, D.C.

I love our country. Our democracy is the foundation that sustains everything from our personal safety to our opportunities for a better life. Without our democracy, we are not safe or free. Protecting it—and the opportunities and security that it provides—is a sacred obligation.

In times of danger, Americans have always come together to do what was right. We must heal and unify our nation. Healing requires justice. Unity requires accountability.

I pray that our country will come together in this tough time to stand once again for democracy and truth, to heal and restore our nation, and to pursue the important work of ensuring a safe and prosperous future for every American."

Representative Stephanie Murphy:

“Today’s impeachment is not about dividing this country. It’s about uniting all patriotic Americans against the unconstitutional actions of an out-of-control president—a president who incited insurrection against our great nation,” said Murphy. “I’m proud both Democrats and Republicans voted to hold the President accountable for his actions. We voted to fulfill our constitutional, moral, and patriotic obligation to safeguard our democracy.”

Representative Darren Soto:

“One week ago today, in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump incited an armed and deadly insurrection against the Capitol, the Congress and our democracy. Even after willfully instigating violence against his own government, President Trump has refused to take responsibility or understand the magnitude of his dangerous rhetoric. It is without a doubt that the President remains a clear and present danger to our Constitution, our country and the American people. For these reasons, I join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote to impeach the treasonous President Trump.”

Representative Michael Waltz:

From Twitter:

"Impeachment further entrenches our nation's divides, jeopardizing peaceful transfer of power. With one week until inauguration, what our country needs most is UNITY, not more fuel thrown on the fire. That's why I voted against impeaching the President today on the House floor.

Furthermore, House Dems brought impeachment to the House floor with ZERO due process, no hearings, no trial & no legal defense. Impeachment should never be rushed nor taken lightly.

The violence we saw at the Capitol was despicable and unAmerican — and it's critical we launch a full investigation into the events on and leading up to January 6th. The 9/11 commission is good model."

Representative Bill Posey:

“Impeaching the President only serves to further divide this nation by fanning the flames of partisanship. Congress could have taken the high road, but instead it has chosen to take the low one. President Trump's Administration began with one-in-three Congressional Democrats boycotting his inauguration, the founding of the "resist" movement, the now debunked Russian collusion narrative and undermining the Administration at every turn. Now in the last hours of this Administration, Speaker Pelosi has chosen to bring an expedited impeachment resolution the House floor that has no chance of going anywhere in the U.S. Senate all the while calling for bipartisanship.”

“We have all condemned the violence that happened during last week’s demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol. There is no place for it, and I am demanding full accountability for the those who engaged in such actions. Rather than seeking healing, this impeachment effort reeks of revenge that may satisfy a political appetite but will only serve to make healing more difficult in the days and weeks ahead as a new President, Joe Biden, is inaugurated.”

Senator Marco Rubio:

Click here for the full statement

Senator Rick Scott:

From his office:

“The Electoral College has spoken and President-elect Biden will be sworn-in a week from now. The President has committed to an orderly transition and that process is underway. It’s time to prepare for that, take the crazy rhetoric down on both sides and move our nation forward.”

Representative Greg Steube:

“For three years, Democrat Members of this body and the mainstream media lied to the American people that the Trump campaign colluded and conspired with Russia. After an exhaustive investigation, it was found that there was no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia,” Steube said. “Should Democrat Members of this body resign for lying to the American people, repeatedly? And sowing division and dissension all across America and it was all a lie.”