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Virginia lawmakers weigh-in on calls to remove President Trump from office

Donald Trump
Posted at 6:52 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 18:54:50-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Leaders in the U.S. House plan to move forward with articles of impeachment against President Trump that accuse him of inciting some of his supporters who violently stormed the U.S. Capitol.

CBS 6 contacted local and Virginia Congressional delegation to see where they stand on impeachment.

Unsurprisingly, most fall in line with their party’s overarching goal and them moving forward.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) said a second impeachment of Trump following last week’s deadly riot goes beyond partisan politics and the current moment.

“Officer [Brian] Sicknick was beaten to death trying to protect the temple to democracy,” she said. “If this president doesn’t resign, if the Vice President doesn’t invoke the 25th amendment, I want the history books to recognize from now into the future that there were members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, who stood up and said this is unacceptable behavior, this is a line drawn in the sand.”

If the House, which Democrats control, moves to impeach the President, it would take a 2/3rd majority of Senators to convict him. It is not yet clear there would be enough votes for that to happen, even when Democrats control the chamber by a slim majority after Vice President-elect Kamala Harris takes office.

Legal experts say it would take a conviction by the Senate to bar Trump from running for office in the future.

Virginia Republicans, including Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA09) and Rep. Bob Good (R-VA05), said in statements to CBS 6 impeachment proceedings will only further divide the country.

“Consideration of impeachment is not a reasonable course of action under these circumstances. The demands of the process to impeach, hold a fair trial, and remove a president could not be reasonably fulfilled in the remaining few days of President Trump’s Administration,” Griffith said. “Although the trial could take place after he leaves office, how would that truly benefit the country in the first months of the Biden Administration?”

“President-Elect Biden should demonstrate leadership, not remain silent in the face of calls for more partisan retribution that will only further deepen and harden the division in our county,” Good said.

Rep. Rob Wittman, who represents portions of the Richmond-Metro region, declined to comment through his office.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA03) wrote in a letter to his colleagues the President recent behavior goes beyond the pale and must be punished.

“Once impeached, it is true that he may not be convicted in the Senate. In fact, an impeachment trial may never take place. But the fact that a quick trial and conviction could take place should deter problematic behavior by the President during his last few days in office,” Scott wrote.

Spanberger points to a letter, signed by 24-former Republican members of Congress, including Barbara Comstock and Denver Riggleman, calling for GOP members to join in the push for impeachment.

“I would note that the only reason or way it becomes a partisan exercise is when it is Republicans who do not join us in standing up for the Constitution. Notably, it is about the Presidency. It is about the future of the Presidency and what we the American people and our children and grandchildren can expect,” Spanberger said. “There’s really not space for opinions when it comes to a violent attack on the United States Capitol. There’s not space for opinions when it comes to someone who would act was an authoritarian, attempting to hold onto power at any cost.”

House Democrats plan to move forward with a vote on an impeachment resolution by Wednesday, Spanberger said.

You can read more about the law behind impeachment proceedings, annotated by legal experts, here.