‘Nobody is above the law’: Bay Area lawmakers react to Trump impeachment vote

National

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Bay Area lawmakers had harsh words for the president Wednesday after the U.S. House voted to impeach Donald Trump on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“In the United States of America, nobody is above the law,” Sen. Kamala Harris said in a statement. “And nobody, especially a president, is exempt from accountability.”

The former Democratic presidential candidate went on to say the Founding Fathers created the tool of impeachment because they anticipated that one day a president would abuse power and block congressional oversight.

Trump’s impeachment marks the third time in U.S. history a president has been impeached.

The impeachment inquiry began with a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden as a way to interfere in the 2020 election — all while withholding $391 million in military aid from the country.

The House vote to impeach Trump now sends the case to the Senate, which will hold a trial to decide whether the president would be convicted and removed from office.

No president has been removed from office after an impeachment vote.

East Bay Rep. Mark DeSaulnier also chimed in on Wednesday’s vote, saying Trump violated law by seeking out foreign interference in the 2020 election by asking Ukraine to investigate Biden.

“This President is a threat to our national security. That is why today I voted to defend our democracy, uphold our oath of office and the Constitution, and impeach President Trump,” DeSaulnier said in a statement.

Oakland’s Rep. Barbara Lee shared a similar point of view.

“Donald Trump has been – and remains – a threat to our national security, a clear danger to our democracy, and wholly unfit to serve as President of the United States,” Lee said.

In a statement, Sen. Dianne Feinstein foreshadowed the Senate trial that is expected to begin in January, emphasizing the Senate’s constitutional duty.

 “When the trial begins, each of us will swear an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws,'” she said in a statement. “To me, that means objectively reviewing the information presented and making an informed judgment.”

Feinstein went on to say Americans deserve an impartial panel of jurors.

The Senate will act as the jury in the trial.

The final House vote Wednesday was 230-197 in favor of Article 1, alleging the president’s abuse of power.

The vote was tallied at 229-198 for Article 2, obstruction of Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke publicly after the vote, saying Wednesday is a great day for the U.S. constitution.

“December 18th a great day for the Constitution of the United States. A sad one for America that the president’s reckless activities necessitated us on having to introduce articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said.

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