Reaction to Trump's second impeachment: Necessary or overreach
The U.S. House of Representatives' vote Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump drew the attention of Metro Detroiters who have been following last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"I definitely was glad that something was done," said Diane Gibbons, a Metro Detroit Democrat who has been following the updates since the assault as well as the Trump presidency. "After so long, people have to stand up."
She and others reached for their phones or flipped to news coverage to find alerts of the 232-197 vote, which came exactly one week after a mob stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in a bid to prevent lawmakers from confirming Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
Five people died, including a Capitol police officer.
Trump was charged in the article of impeachment with “incitement of insurrection” for his part in encouraging the rioters.
The decision didn't sit well with Brandon Parsons, an independent voter from Dearborn. He called the impeachment "a knee-jerk reaction" that he believes was rushed and politically motivated.
"Whether you agree with President Trump or not, I believe we should be afforded due process," he said. "...To incite violence is a specific thing and the man didn’t do that."
Parsons noted Trump's first impeachment did not result in him being removed from office and said tackling the coronavirus requires more attention on Capitol Hill.
"Why are we wasting time on this when there are far more pressing issues that affect everyday Americans' lives than impeaching a president that's going to be out of office?" he said.
Gibbons, who said she hasn't missed voting in an election in more than 40 years, did not agree with the president and his supporters working to reject the results of the Nov. 3 race.
The violence that followed Trump's remarks last week alarmed her, as did reports about lawmakers and staff hiding in fear for their lives, she said. "This is the United States of America. I never, ever thought that something like this would ever happen."
In a statement Tuesday, Michigan Democratic Party chair Lavora Barnes said "thousands of domestic terrorists, encouraged by the president, invaded the U.S. Capitol with intentions to stop the certification of a secure election and attack our elected leaders.
"And though they failed in their plans, at least 5 people lost their lives. The president incited this deadly insurrection and must be held accountable by being found guilty of the article of impeachment and never allowed to hold public office again. He has abused his power and put all Americans in danger."
U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, who voted for the impeachment, said Trump "betrayed his oath of office by inciting a deadly insurrection against Congress, the Vice President, and our country. His reckless actions and rhetoric shook us to the core and left the U.S. Capitol — a beacon of hope and democracy — in shambles. This cannot go unanswered."
The Democrat added in an emailed statement: "With today’s vote, the House of Representatives sends a strong and clear message that any President, regardless if they’re a Democrat or Republican, will face consequences for preventing a co-equal branch of government from exercising its Constitutional duty.”
Trump now faces a trial in the Senate, which could be delayed until after Biden's inauguration Jan. 20. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told Democrats on Wednesday he would not back efforts to call senators into emergency session.
While she believes the impeachment is necessary, Gibbons said she remains concerned about how it could further divide the country and spark more violence and unrest.
"I'm worried about our president-elect and vice president-elect. I worry about their safety and all of our senators and (congressional leaders)," she said.