U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont, voted Wednesday not to impeach President Donald Trump after calling the proceedings "a sham."
His speech came before members voted Wednesday to impeach the president. Gianforte said in his 92-second floor speech that the impeachment proceeding was "a made-for-TV show" and of little substance.
House Democrats had the votes to impeach the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress without Republican support. Trump is the third president to be impeached in the history of the United States. The next step after House impeachment will be a trial for the president in the Republican-controlled Senate.
You have free articles remaining.
Trump is accused of abusing his office by asking the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to investigate Democrats, namely Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic primary candidate for president. The White House had put a hold on military aid for Ukraine. The $400 million in aid had been appropriated by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian invasion. Democrats accuse Trump of using the aid as leverage to obtain a personal political favor to influence the 2020 U.S. elections.
"Today this chamber is pushing through the most partisan, baseless articles of impeachment in our history. It's been a sham since day one, driven by those whose bitter rage against President Trump has blinded their better judgment," Gianforte told lawmakers. "The fact is, they resolved to overturn the result of the 2016 election the day President Trump won. Earlier this year, Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi said, 'impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path.'"
"None of those standards have been met. None," Gianforte continued. "The committee hearings were a scripted, substance-free, made-for-TV show. They would be comedy if impeachment weren't so serious and grave. Witnesses denied awareness of an impeachable offense, and because the majority has failed to make the case for impeachment, there is no bipartisanship. Compelling, overwhelming, bipartisan. Speaker Pelosi has not met her own criteria for impeachment."
"But here we are. Despite Democrats testing and tweaking their impeachment message, the American people have rejected it. I will vote against this partisan impeachment sham. Let's get back to the work American people sent us here. On this sad day of an impeachment charade, I yield back the balance of my time."