Congressman Tom Cole, a republican representing the fourth congressional district of Oklahoma, voted against H. Res. 24, an article to impeach President Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors on Wednesday.
The move to impeach President Trump by the U.S. House is a historical second attempt at removing the leader from America’s top office. Trump, according to the House, is charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.
With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, urged on by the president’s calls for them to “fight like hell” against the election results.
“After the terrifying and traumatic attack that took place at the United States Capitol just a week ago, the American people desperately need to see hope and healing on our nation’s horizon,” Cole said. “Impeaching President Donald Trump, who has conceded the election and will leave office in a week, is not the answer. Doing so will only worsen divisions nationwide.
“While I realize that emotions are running high and fear is a very real enemy right now, that does not provide cause for the House to abandon the institutional process for bringing the grave matter of impeachment to the floor,” Cole continued. “Such serious action should only come after fully reviewing and investigating all the facts, engaging expert witnesses and providing due process to the accused. This is necessary to ensure the American people have confidence in the procedures that govern the House now and for generations to come. Moreover, the presidency itself demands due process in impeachment proceedings. To be clear, the shameful perpetrators of the Capitol siege must and will be held accountable for their crimes and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Indeed, the president must also realize that his words carry meaning and accept responsibility for them. I hope that is a lesson every elected official remembers.”
Trump is the only U.S. president to be twice impeached.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.