Reps. Josh Harder and Jerry McNerney joined their fellow Democrats as they both cast votes in the House of Representatives on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The first article of impeachment passed 230-197, and the second passed 229-198, largely on party lines. Two Democrats joined Republican members of Congress in voting against both counts, and one voted for the first but against the second.
Harder, D-Turlock, whose district includes most of Tracy, released a statement after the vote:
“I came to Washington to cut health care costs, grow and sustain our water supply, and create more good-paying jobs in the Valley. I also took a sacred oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I didn’t come here to impeach a president. It’s disappointing to have to make this vote.
“The President put our national security at risk, invited another foreign government to interfere in our election, and used American tax dollars to further his own political agenda. This abuse of power left Congress with no choice but to hold him accountable. No one is above the law.”
Earlier Wednesday afternoon, McNerney, D-Stockton, who represents Mountain House, tweeted his position:
If the president's actions bare no consequence, future presidents may act without constraint and American democracy will be at an end. Therefore, I will uphold my sworn duty to defend the Constitution and vote to impeach this president. pic.twitter.com/MHTVgPk2UT— Jerry McNerney (@RepMcNerney) December 16, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, began an impeachment inquiry Sept. 24. A month of closed-door hearings was followed by public hearings by the Intelligence Committee and by the Judiciary Committee, which drafted the articles of impeachment.
The next step is a trial to be conducted by the Senate.