Indiana's U.S. House delegation splits on party lines in Trump impeachment vote

U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, speaks Wednesday in the U.S. House in favor of impeaching Republican President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol. Content Exchange

The nine Hoosiers serving in the U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines Wednesday on the question of impeaching President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol that led to six deaths, including two Capitol Police officers.

The two Indiana Democrats — U.S. Reps. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, and Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis — voted in favor of impeaching the Republican president, making Trump the only chief executive to be impeached twice in the history of the United States.

Impeachment was just the 17th vote Mrvan cast since succeeding retired U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, as Northwest Indiana's representative in Congress on Jan. 3.

During 10 days in Washington, D.C., Mrvan has been sworn-in to office, survived a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol as the results of the presidential election were being certified, and voted to impeach the president — a far cry from his initial plans to focus on speeding COVID-19 vaccinations, education, veterans issues and economic growth.

Nevertheless, the new Region representative remains undaunted. He said Wednesday, in his first speech from the House floor, that his support for impeachment will enable Congress to promptly begin tackling those other issues.

"Since the events on Jan. 6, I spoke with a group of ministers from Gary, Indiana, and they told me how they are praying for unity and justice in our nation," Mrvan said.

"It reminded me of the moment when those of us who were on the House floor on Jan. 6 were huddled together in a secure room after the attack — House Chaplain (Margaret) Kibben led us all in prayer. Let us remember that moment, let us rekindle that prayer, for those three minutes when we were all united to preserve our democracy and justice."

"I support the article of impeachment so that we can move forward to do the work that our constituents sent us here to do," Mrvan said.

In contrast, Illinois U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Matteson, said she voted to impeach Trump because she believes he is "a clear and present danger to our nation."

"The president’s actions amount to treason," Kelly said. "He incited a deadly insurrection against the American government to stop the peaceful transfer of power. Today, truth has triumphed over the blatant lies of this president and his enablers who sought to delegitimize a free and fair election."

Voting against impeachment were all seven Indiana House Republicans: U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski, R-Elkhart; Jim Banks, R-Columbia City; Jim Baird, R-Greencastle; Victoria Spartz, R-Noblesville; Greg Pence, R-Columbus; Larry Bucshon, R-Evansville; and Trey Hollingsworth, R-Jeffersonville.

Notably, four of those Republicans — Walorski, Banks, Baird and Pence — last week also attempted to give the Trump mob what it wanted by voting to throw out electoral votes from Arizona and/or Pennsylvania in the hope of getting Trump a second term, despite Trump losing both the electoral and popular vote in the Nov. 3 election to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

Altogether, 10 Republicans crossed party lines, including Illinois U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, to join 222 Democrats in voting to impeach Trump. A total of 197 Republicans and 0 Democrats opposed impeachment.

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it will not be possible for the Senate to hold a trial to decide whether to remove Trump from office before the president's term expires at 11 a.m. Region time Jan. 20.

However, the Senate still can take up the impeachment after Trump no longer is president and use it to permanently bar Trump from ever again holding federal office, or deny Trump the pension and other post-presidency benefits to which he'd otherwise be entitled.

U.S. House impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump

IN THEIR WORDS: Midwest elected officials react to U.S. Capitol breach

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