‘We must hold this president accountable’: Local lawmakers weigh in on Trump impeachment

Politics

SAN DIEGO – More than 80 percent of California’s congressional delegation voted Tuesday to impeach President Trump for a second time for inciting his followers to mount a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 12: Rep.-elect Sara Jacobs (D-CA) arrives to the Hyatt Regency hotel on Capitol Hill on November 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Orientation begins for the newly-elected members today and will run through Nov. 21. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Forty-three members of the delegation including Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-San Diego, voted to impeach the president after last week’s Capitol riots. Of the state’s 53 seats, all 10 no votes came from Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Bonsall, while one — Rep. David Valadao — joined nine other Republicans in voting to impeach.

In all, the House voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

“The response to political violence must always be accountability,” Jacobs said in a speech on the House floor Tuesday. “Without accountability, more violence will follow. I learned that working at the United Nations and the State Department and conflict settings around the world and the United States Congress is now a conflict setting.”

Jacobs, who represents the state’s 53rd congressional district, added that a “violent mob threatened our lives in this chamber and almost succeeded” after being incited by Trump about the outcome of the election.

“We must hold this president accountable,” she said. “It’s the only way to protect our democracy.”

Issa, who defeated Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar in November’s election to represent the 50th congressional district, condemned the siege, but not the president.

“The last speaker (Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark) said that for four years, the president did all these terrible and insightful things, including antisemitism,” he said. “I take exception with that, but I think it’s important that we embrace one thing that was said: Yes, the president has been consistent the last four years.”

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 12: Rep.-elect Darrell Issa (R-CA) arrives to the Hyatt Regency hotel on Capitol Hill on November 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Orientation begins for the newly-elected members today and will run through Nov. 21. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Issa said he’s noted in the past that Trump has “political Tourette’s” in that he has “said what’s on his mind without a filter.”

“I don’t think that’s being debated here today,” he said. “We all know that’s true. What’s being debated is whether with 167 hours left until he leaves office, is he a clear and present danger and he clearly isn’t. The president has acted substantially the same for four years.

“He’s rallied his base. And he has, in fact, called for peaceful protests, as he did just a few days ago. The fact is, today we are trying to punish the president, at least some are, for four years of what he did, not for what happened last week.”

Democratic Rep. Mike Levin, who voted to impeach Trump, said that no matter which way House members vote, “history calls on us to do what’s right rather than just politically expedient.”

“What each of us chooses to do today, whether we vote to hold this president to account or look the other way, will be remembered by history and our children and their children,” Levin said. “The facts are clear. The evidence of Trump’s insurrection is overwhelming.”

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