As the U.S. House of Representatives debated an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, one Ohio senator expressed his support while the other has been mostly silent on the issue.
The House voted in favor Wednesday of an article of impeachment accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection” in response to his words to protesters who later stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6. The violence resulted in five deaths, including one police officer.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) released a statement on the U.S. Capitol attack on Tuesday, calling it an attack on “democracy itself.”
He also laid partial blame at Trump’s feet.
“Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his actions afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened on Jan. 6,” Portman said in the statement, later stating there were reports of additional violence in the coming days across the U.S. “These reports are deeply concerning. Violence is never the answer, and we must take all threats seriously. The orderly and peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 20 is a hallmark of our democracy.”
He then called on Trump to address the nation to tell his supporters to remain peaceful, saying it was time to work together to heal the country.
Portman has not made a statement concerning impeachment and a message left with his office on Wednesday was not returned by press time.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) stated he supported calls for impeachment during a conference call with reports on Wednesday afternoon.
Trump wasn’t the only person he has come out against, either.
“After the president incited violence and so many white supremacists attacked the Capitol, I called first for the resignation of (senators) Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), two of the instigators with the president, of these riots,” he said. “I called for the invocation of the 25th Amendment, where the vice president with the cabinet would remove the president.”
Brown also threw his support in the impeachment efforts, saying he hoped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would call them back today or Friday.
Later Wednesday, McConnell said he would not call the Senate back before its scheduled return next week, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Still, Brown believes there is more support for impeachment than there was last year, when Trump was impeached on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
“Congress needs to move quickly as we should in the Senate,” he said. “I’m not a lawyer, but the trial can be done in two or three days. It’s not complicated, the evidence is out there ... We’ve seen the president’s speech and the response from those rioters. I don’t call them protesters or demonstrators. They were rioters. They were organized ... They were clearly ready to do this and they need to be held accountable.”
When asked about taking action to prevent Trump from holding office again, he said he would “assume so.”
If convicted in the impeachment process, Brown said he would not be able to hold office again.
“I assume we will do that,” he said.