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Although South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson said that Trump deserves “more than his fair share of blame” for the U.S. Capitol riot last week, he voted not to impeach the president Wednesday.
Johnson told ABC News that his decision was based on due process of the law.
“I think due process matters,” said Johnson. “I just felt like a snap impeachment was not in the best interest of the country.”
He said Trump could have been held accountable through censure.
“Impeachment for someone who is out of office looks like some sort of formal reprimand. Really, you can’t kick them out when they’re already gone,” said Johnson. “I think (Nancy Pelosi) could have gotten 100 Republican votes for censure.”
Democrats defended the use of impeachment because an impeachment and a conviction vote by two-thirds of the Senate would open Trump up to a congressional ban on running for federal office. Trump has already indicated that he would run for office again in 2024.
Johnson said that he and “dozens” of his Republican colleagues felt frustrated on the House floor Wednesday. He said that his fellow Democrats missed an opportunity to work across the aisle.
“The rhetoric on the House floor today was the most toxic I have seen in my two years. It was the most rancorous,” he said. “And that’s one of the reasons why I was trying to get some of my Democratic colleagues more interested in a bipartisan censure, a more unifying approach than, I think, a largely single-party impeachment process.”
-ABC News Haley Yamada