Reed Says He Doesn’t Support Impeachment Efforts
Due to the lack of a full investigation into the charge of “incitement of insurrection,” Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said he doesn’t support the articles of impeachment the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday.
During a conference call with regional media outlets prior to the vote, Reed said the division and anger that is being exacerbated cannot be underappreciated as he calls for a peaceful transition of power to take place on Jan. 20 when President-elect Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States.
“Now is the time to take a deep breath. Now is the time to seek calmness. Stay calm,” he said. “To see reason in responses and our rhetoric. To go forward with the transition of power in a peaceful and calm matter.”
Instead of impeachment, Tuesday Reed joined a group of bipartisan Congress members calling for a concurrent resolution to censure Trump for attempting to unlawfully overturn the 2020 election and for violating his oath of office on Jan. 6. Reed said in a statement that in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, lawmakers have the solemn duty to accomplish two missions: hold the president fully and unequivocally accountable for his actions and simultaneously calm and heal the fever-pitch tensions in our country.
“It is a legitimate tool,” Reed said during the conference call about the censure resolution. “It is a historic penalty that could be imposed if the leadership chooses that path.”
Reed said he was included in a letter that was sent to Trump calling for the president to address the nation to ask for a peaceful transition of power.
“Now is not the time for further violence,” Reed said.
On Wednesday prior to the conference call, Trump issued a statement calling for no violence and a peaceful transition of power next week during Biden’s inauguration.
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind,” stated Trump. “That is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on all Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”
Reed said another reason the “snap impeachment” doesn’t make sense is U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, isn’t even going to call the Senate back into session prior to the inauguration. Reed said an impeachment trial in the Senate would take away attention from Biden’s inauguration speech, which is expected to be a message about unity and bringing people together.
“Clearly (Biden) wouldn’t have an opportunity to (ask for unity and bringing people together) if there is an impeachment trial,” Reed said.
The Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group in the United States House of Representatives that includes 50 members equally divided between Democrats and Republicans and Reed co-chairs, couldn’t reach a consensus when it came to the impeachment or the censure resolution, Reed said. He said both issues were discussed extensively and the 75% consensus, which if reached calls for all members of the caucus to vote the same way, couldn’t be reached on the impeachment or the censure.
“The No. 1 goal now is to get to Jan. 20,” Reed said.