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Idaho Republican congressmen voted against impeaching President Trump. Here’s why

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Idaho U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson, R-District 2, and Russ Fulcher, R-District 1

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — For the third time in America’s history, the U.S. House of Representatives has impeached a president.

President Andrew Johnson was impeached Feb. 24, 1868. President Bill Clinton was impeached Dec. 19, 1998.

President Richard Nixon faced impeachment, but resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, before the House would vote on articles of impeachment.

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, the House impeached Republican President Donald J. Trump on two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Idaho’s two U.S. representatives, Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, both Republicans, voted against both articles of impeachment.

During the day-long floor debate, Fulcher received 30 seconds on the floor.

“In a day heavy on verbal debate I choose to use my time to enumerate in detail every high crime and misdemeanor committed by the President of the United States. I will do so now,” Fulcher said from the House floor.

Fulcher then used the remainder of his time to stand in silence, indicating he believed Trump has committed no high crimes or misdemeanors.

Simpson did not go on the House floor to debate the impeachment articles.

Following the historic vote, both Simpson and Fulcher issued written statements.

“Unfortunately, this vote does more damage than good and further divides our country,” Simpson said.

“A group of Democrats, members of the House and my colleagues, have taken their displeasure with the results of the 2016 presidential election and plunged our nation into a vicious debate, one that started before the President was even sworn into office. … I am gravely disappointed. Introducing articles of impeachment is one of the most solemn powers of Congress, ranking in importance alongside the power to declare war.”

Simpson continued, “I do not take this process lightly. In the absence of evidence proving President Trump abused his power or obstructed Congress, Democrats have pushed forward looking for a political victory. … To see the proud legislative tradition of the House of Representatives reduced to a one-sided smear campaign is frightening; to see it used to undermine an election is beyond disturbing.”

In his statement, Fulcher said, “Today, a stain will be left on the history of the U.S. House of Representatives… one which neither fact nor time will be able to wipe clean. Like other blights on history, this one is self-induced by the selfish ambition of mankind.

“Having found themselves more desiring of power than service, the stewards of a once-honorable Democrat party have weaponized the congressional process—one that was intended for liberty—in a desperate attempt to remove an American president and gain more control.”

Fulcher concluded, “Now, the responsibility for any positive mitigation lies with our nation’s parents and grandparents, to use this stain as a tool for teaching—and to explain to future Americans such that this will never happen again.”

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