Reaction pours in on the House impeachment vote of President Trump

WASHINGTON -- Reaction to the impeachment vote in the House of Representatives was fast and furious on Wednesday evening, Dec. 18. Below are the statements of reaction from lawmakers, party officials and others:

DNC Chair Tom Perez

“This is a solemn day for our democracy. House Democrats ran for office not to impeach a president, but to improve people’s lives and fulfill their oath to defend the Constitution. The president violated his oath, and in the face of his abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the House had a responsibility to hold him accountable.

“Republicans in Congress were given the same choice: to protect the Constitution and serve American voters, or to defend this president’s lies and corruption. They chose the latter, and the American people will not forget their betrayal. They will make their voices heard at the ballot box. And when the history of this day is written, those who voted for impeachment will be remembered for their courage and commitment to protecting our democracy.”

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

"History was made today, but not in a way Democrats had hoped. With this vote, Nancy Pelosi and her fellow impeachment crusaders have ensured the reelection of President Trump and a return of a Republican majority in the House," said Chairwoman McDaniel. "The American people have turned on this partisan sham and see Democrats in Congress for what they truly are: politicians whose sole focus is to overturn the result of the 2016 election, not on the real issues they promised to address. In 2020, voters will re-elect President Trump and choose candidates who will truly work on their behalf instead of obsessing over destroying a duly-elected President."

Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse)

“Until now, I have reserved judgment, waiting for all the facts to come out. I’ve reviewed the evidence and followed the hearings. It’s clear the President’s actions were a flagrant abuse of constitutional power; it was unlawful, and it jeopardized our national security. The President had every opportunity to present contrary evidence but didn’t. Instead, he chose to obstruct the inquiry, preventing top officials from testifying and withholding relevant information.

“My vote today was not about the President himself—more importantly, it was about defending the rule of law, our Constitution, and what signal we send future presidents of what is acceptable behavior. Asking another country to meddle in our election and withholding vital security assistance from an ally is what our founders feared and why they placed impeachment in our Constitution. If any president—Democrat or Republican—had committed these offenses, I would have reached the same conclusion.

“I took an oath of office, not to any political party or person, but to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States—and it’s an oath I take seriously. It’s why I’ve supported impeachment inquiries into both Presidents Clinton and Trump—the only member of Congress to do so. Because Congress is the only institution in our democracy that can hold a president accountable.

“The decision of whether or not the President should be removed from office now rests with the Senate. In the meantime, I will continue to work across party lines, tackling issues of importance like lowering health care and prescription drug costs, ending trade wars, and combating the student loan debt crisis.”

Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville)

“Today, I voted against impeaching President Trump. From the start, I have been opposed to impeachment. Although the Senate is now tied up with the impeachment trial, the House should get to work on issues impacting Americans: tackling the rising costs of health care, securing our border, and addressing our national debt.”

Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Jefferson

“House Democrats just chose to launch a sham impeachment that prioritizes partisanship over the American people. Democrats have proven that their only agenda is to tear down President Trump and advance their partisan games.

“Democrats like Rep. Ron Kind have tried to conceal their stance on the issue when they knew how they would vote weeks, if not months. Today’s vote displays the sad state of politics where Rep. Ron Kind and other Democrats want to see President Trump fail at the expense of the American people.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler

"The facts have made clear that President Trump abused the power of his office for personal gain while jeopardizing our national security. He further violated his oath of office when he tried to hide his illicit actions by refusing to comply with Congress, who was exercising its constitutional duty to get to the truth.

"While many members of Congress, including numerous Wisconsin Republicans, willfully turned their eyes from the truth, those who voted for impeachment today put their country and allegiance to the constitution first."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)

“Today, the House of Representatives rightly carried out its constitutional responsibility by voting to impeach Donald Trump, the most corrupt president in our history. No one, including the president, is above the law.

“I call on Mitch McConnell to conduct a full and fair trial to hold this president accountable, and I am fully prepared to uphold my responsibility as a juror in the United States Senate.”