McKinley Statement on the House Impeachment Vote


Date: Jan. 15, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) released the following statement announcing his intention to vote "no" on impeachment later today:

"Last week the nation watched as a violent mob attacked the Capitol, disrupting and delaying a vital step in our electoral process. The mob damaged and stole property, assaulted members of law enforcement and caused five deaths, including one Capitol Police Officer. This attack was both disgusting and tragic.

President Trump bears responsibility for this. There is enough blame to go around. The statements of other elected officials, the 24-7 news media that seek out controversy, and social media platforms where going viral is more important than the truth have all contributed to the decay of civil discourse. Words and actions mean something, and reckless rhetoric has real world consequences.

Like anyone else, I am angry about what happened. But history is replete with poor judgments made in anger leading to knee jerk reactions.

This brings us to where we are today. The House will vote on Articles of Impeachment, opting for speed over deliberation. The majority is not holding hearings in which all the facts can be presented.

Any reading of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers shows that impeachment was intended to be a seldom-used tool done through a deliberative process, not a snap judgment of a majority.

Both Republicans and Democrats have called for unity in the aftermath of January 6. However, a leading Democrat stated we "can't have unity without truth"; but how do you find truth without holding hearings or assessing all the evidence? What precedent does this set for the future, when Presidents could be subject to a rushed impeachment without due process?

Will the House impeaching the President do anything to prevent further violence from happening, or will it simply inflame an already tense situation? Our primary goal should be to ensure a peaceful and smooth transition of power over the next week until Joe Biden is sworn into office on January 20.

Ultimately, the people responsible for this heinous act -- whether they committed violence or incited the crowds -- will be held accountable. But right now, it is imperative that we turn down the temperature and restore calm to this country.

With the benefit of all the facts, it may become evident that the President did indeed commit an impeachable offense. However, with a truncated, rushed process, I can't fairly make that judgment and will vote against the Article of Impeachment today."