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Trump impeachment: Here's what the Delaware delegation had to say

Jeff Neiburg
Delaware News Journal

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester joined 221 of her Democratic colleagues and 10 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass one article of impeachment Wednesday afternoon, making President Donald Trump the first president in the nation’s 245-year history to be impeached twice.

Trump was impeached for inciting an “insurrection” in last week’s attack on the Capitol.

The final vote to impeach was 232 to 197.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester visited supporters at Harlan Elementary School on Election Day in Wilmington.

“One week ago, violent rioters, inspired and incited by the President of the United States, stormed the Capitol in an attempted violent insurrection," Blunt Rochester said in a statement after the vote. "While I have long believed that Donald Trump is unfit for office ... the attack of January 6th displayed that he represents a clear and present danger to our country.

"Today, I voted to impeach Donald Trump because our nation cannot afford to have him in office another day longer. Before our country can reach reconciliation, we must recognize our truths. Before we can heal and unite, we must require accountability. The rioters tried to shake us, but they did not break us, and today, in the cathedral of our democracy that those rioters stormed, we voted to hold Donald Trump accountable.” 

It's unclear when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the article to the Senate, which can either dismiss the charge or hold a trial.

It's unlikely a trial would happen until after President-elect Joe Biden takes office next Wednesday. But the New York Times reported Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "concluded that President Trump committed impeachable offenses" and impeachment could help "purge" Trump from the Republican Party.

Still, the likelihood that the needed 17 votes from Republican senators come to fruition isn't high. 

TAKEAWAYS: 5 takeaways as the House impeaches Trump for second time

Delaware's two senators, Democrats Chris Coons and Tom Carper, have, like many of their colleagues, voiced support for Trump's removal from office.

U.S. Sens. Tom Carper, left, and Chris Coons chat after delivering a press conference after arriving in Wilmington by train on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, following the mob intrusion at the Capitol the day before.

Speaking in Wilmington last week after returning home from Washington, Carper reiterated his desire to see Trump resign and Coons said he hoped Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet would invoke the 25th Amendment to strip Trump of his powers. That, days later, seems unlikely to happen after Pence said Tuesday that he opposed the measure.

In a statement following the vote, Carper ripped Trump for peddling "dangerous conspiracy theories regarding fraud and irregularities in our election" and said of Trump's role in last week's events: "If this isn’t an impeachable offense, then nothing is."

"The House of Representatives, including 10 Republicans, sent a clear and bipartisan message by impeaching Donald Trump for the second time for his role in this heinous act of violence and betrayal of his oath," Carper's statement said. "As Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), the third highest-ranking Republican in the House, said so very well, ‘None of this would have happened without the President,’ and he must be held accountable."

In an op-ed piece published by the New York Times on Monday, Coons said that absent of Trump resigning or Pence turning to the 25th Amendment, "Congress must promptly move ahead with its own remedies, including impeachment or censure."

Two days later, the House chose impeachment.

Reporting from USA Today was used in this story.

Contact Jeff Neiburg at jneiburg@delawareonline.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Neiburg.