Almost immediately after the U.S. House of Representatives made Donald Trump the third U.S. president to be impeached, New England lawmakers began to share their reactions.
The House voted Wednesday to impeach Trump on both articles it introduced, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The votes were largely along party lines. The articles will now move to the Republican-controlled Senate, where they are unlikely to receive enough votes to remove the president.
"Today, the House of Representatives carried out its constitutional responsibility by voting to impeach Donald Trump, the most corrupt president in our history," wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. "No one, including the president, is above the law."
"I swore an oath, as a United States Marine and as a Member of Congress, to protect and defend the Constitution unconditionally," Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said in a statement. "Today, that oath compelled me to vote to impeach President Donald Trump."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry in September after a whistleblower raised concerns about a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
In testimony during the House investigation, witnesses argued that Trump withheld $391 million in congressionally-approved military aid from Ukraine, as well as a White House visit for the newly-elected Zelenskiy, unless Ukraine announced an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump also pushed Zelenskiy to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election to support Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, witnesses said.
"The evidence and facts are clear and uncontested: President Trump has abused the power of the Presidency for his own personal gain, at the expense of our national security and the integrity of the 2020 election," said Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire.
"The President's actions are of a character and nature that present a direct threat to American democracy while his actions throughout this process make clear that this pattern of behavior in our Chief Executive is likely to continue," wrote Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.
"The impeachment of a U.S. President by the House of Representatives, for only the third time in our nation's long history, is a sad and solemn … occasion," Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement. "But let's be clear: Donald Trump, by his words and deeds, brought this impeachment entirely upon himself. And the President's allies and enablers, instead of addressing the overwhelming evidence that the President abused his power and then sought to cover it up and obstruct Congress's investigation into it, have engaged in a campaign of denial, distraction and demagoguery."
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"Impeaching this President is more than an indictment of one man's actions, it is a protective shield around the most powerful democratic office on earth," said Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Massachusetts Democrat challenging Markey for his Senate seat. "This is not a moment to celebrate. but it is a moment to be grateful that our system worked as it should, flexing muscle against those who sought to corrupt and abuse it for personal gain."
As focus shifts to the Senate, Democratic lawmakers from that chamber are stating their desires for a fair and thorough trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week there was "no chance" Trump would be removed, adding that his "hope" was that no Republicans would vote to impeach.
"I call on Mitch McConnell to conduct a full and fair trial to hold this president accountable, and I am fully prepared to uphold my responsibility as a juror in the United States Senate," Sanders said Wednesday.
"As a Senator, I'm going to be a juror in any impeachment trial and that means I have a duty to withhold judgement, encourage a fair process and make a determination impartially," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, said in a statement.
"Last week, [Senate] Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would take his cues on the trial from the President's lawyers," Markey said. "This is wrong. He should be taking his cues from the Constitution. Senator McConnell must negotiate in good faith with Senate Democrats on the rules for a full and fair trial, at which Senators can hear and consider all relevant evidence before making the momentous decision whether to remove Donald Trump from office."