10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump. Pa.’s Thompson, Keller weren’t among them
For the second time in 13 months, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump — this time, for incitement of insurrection. Once again, Centre County’s federal representatives opposed.
Failing to respond to requests for comment, U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, and Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard, have remained silent about Trump’s role in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. Both voted to overturn the results of the presidential election just hours after the attack.
One week after the riot, the legislators voted against the article of impeachment.
“There has not been an investigation; there have been no hearings, and we are seven days away from a new administration assuming the lead of our government,” Thompson said in a statement released Wednesday. “I do not believe impeachment is the appropriate course of action at this time and remain concerned that moving forward will only further sow seeds of division across the political landscape.”
Thompson described the violence at the Capitol as a “gruesome and senseless display” and said he remains hopeful Trump will address the nation and encourage a “peaceful” transition of power.
“Impeachment will further inflame tensions in our country and sow even greater divisions among a nation that needs desperately to heal,” Keller said in a Monday statement to WENY News. “I do not agree with that direction. Per the Constitution, a peaceful transition of power will take place on Jan. 20. As we move forward into the 117th Congress, we must focus our efforts on helping families and small businesses recover from COVID-19, uniting our great republic and facing America’s challenges together as one nation.”
The insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 began with a “Save America” rally where thousands of Trump supporters — including those from the Centre County Republican Party — gathered in Washington. Trump, joined by longtime supporters, encouraged attendees to “stop the steal” and march down Pennsylvania Avenue as Congress met to certify the Electoral College results. The president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, demanded “trial by combat.”
“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government,” the article of impeachment states. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and imperiled a coequal branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
In a 232-197 vote, the House impeached Trump for the second time.
In 2019, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, and Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, were divided on impeachment. But since the riot at the Capitol, both have voiced support for the legislative process.