Indigenous lawmakers split Trump impeachment vote
Three Indigenous members of Congress voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump, charged with “incitement of insurrection.” He is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
The U.S. House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans voting yes.
The vote fell along party lines for the Indigenous lawmakers. Democratic Reps. Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk, of Kansas, Kai Kahele, Kanaka Maoli, of Hawaii, and Deb Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblos, of New Mexico, voted in favor.
Republicans Tom Cole, Chickasaw, Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee, both of Oklahoma, and Yvette Herrell, Cherokee, of New Mexico, voted against.
In making a case for the “high crimes and misdemeanors” demanded in the Constitution, the four-page impeachment resolution approved Wednesday relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory, including at a rally near the White House on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Kahele, in only his 11th day in Congress, posted a video clip of himself voting and explained why he voted in favor of Trump's impeachment.
“He must be held accountable for inciting violent & deadly insurrection on our democracy & our nation’s capital. We must remove him from office.”
In another short video posted on social media, Mullin said voting on impeachment “doesn't help us, this doesn't help us move forward as a country.”
Earlier Wednesday, Mullin was under fire for refusing to walk through metal detectors to enter the House floor, NBC News reported. The devices were set up as a safety precaution after last week’s violent attack on the Capitol.
Davids, meanwhile, released a statement on her vote to impeach Trump.
“Donald Trump has made it clear that he is unfit to serve as president of the United States. Moreover, he is a clear and present danger to our safety, security, and democracy,” she said. “Because while this is about removing a clear and present danger from the White House now, it’s also about 100 years from now and the precedent we set.”
In other reaction in Indian Country, Manilan Houle, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, tweeted his support for the House’s vote.
“As solemn of occasion as this second impeachment is I am grateful for the swift and decisive voice of a bipartisan US House who has refused to abandon their oath to defend this nation against enemies foreign and domestic who seek to undermine our Democracy. #impeachment”
After the House voted to impeach Trump, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell suggested in a statement that Trump's Senate trial will not start before Jan. 19, the chamber’s next scheduled business day. It's also the day before Biden is inaugurated as president and about the time Democrats take over majority control of the Senate. The timetable essentially means McConnell is dropping the trial into Democrats' laps.
Indian Country Today reporter-producer Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, national correspondent Dalton Walker, Red Lake Anishinaabe, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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