Cartwright, Casey back second impeachment; Meuser, Keller warn of division
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said Monday they will support a second impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Two other congressmen from Northeast Pennsylvania, Rep. Dan Meuser and Rep. Fred Keller, warned impeachment will only further divide the nation.
Cartwright, D-8, Moosic, who signed on as a cosponsor of the article of impeachment introduced Monday in the House, said in a statement there is no question Trump incited the attack on the Capitol that attempted to stop the peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
The president’s unfounded claims of election fraud and incendiary rally resulted in a threat to a core constitutional process and cannot go unanswered, he said.
Since it is clear Trump “will not do the right thing and resign,” Cartwright said, he urged Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and have the president removed.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the House will move forward with impeachment Wednesday if Pence does not act.
“If it becomes necessary, I will support articles of impeachment this week,” Cartwright said. “This is a constitutional emergency that should be taken very seriously. We need to make clear that presidents cannot use their power or influence to attack our democracy.”
Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol on Wednesday as the House and Senate were meeting to certify the election victory of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The violent siege disrupted the normally routine proceeding for several hours.
Casey, a Democrat from Scranton, called for full accountability for what he described as an insurrection against the federal government. The individuals who stormed the Capitol need to face charges, but there must be consequences for all who have betrayed the nation’s values, he said.
“President Trump should be impeached and removed from office because he betrayed his oath to the Constitution and incited a mob to violence,” Casey said in a statement.
Members of Congress who led the effort to overthrow a democratic election also must be held accountable, he said.
“If they refuse to resign their office, then Congress should begin to explore censure or expulsion,” he said. “Failing to hold those responsible for the insurrection accountable would be a profound injustice and give a green light to future authoritarians.”
Meuser, who was among the House members who voted against awarding Pennsylvania’s electoral votes to Biden, said in a statement Monday he stands by his objection.
As for the attack on Capitol, the “bad actors” who participated were “intent on creating mayhem and nothing else,” Meuser said. He does not believe the president’s words were intended to incite them to act in a hostile way.
But the result speaks for itself, and lawlessness and violence must be condemned, he said.
“I hoped that this terrible national setback would lead us to attempt to come together rather than continue the pattern of vindictiveness and scoring political points at the expense of the people as we have experienced over the last two years,” Meuser said.
“President Trump is leaving office in eight days. An impeachment proceeding will do nothing but divide us further, rather than preparing for President-elect Biden to be sworn in, and spending this time on important matters to our nation like vaccine distribution and economic recovery.”
He added that he plans to attend Biden’s inauguration.
Keller, R-12, Snyder County, also voted against awarding Biden the state’s electoral votes.
“Impeachment will further inflame tensions in our country and sow even greater divisions among a nation that needs desperately to heal,” Keller said. “I do not agree with that direction.”
A peaceful transition of power will take place Jan. 20, Keller said. After that, Congress needs to focus on helping families and businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and working together to meet the nation’s challenges.