LIMA — Ohio’s senators voted along party lines on an impeachment vote against former President Donald J. Trump.
Democrat Sherrod Brown was among the 57 who voted to convict, while Republican Rob Portman sided with 42 other Republicans.
The final vote of 57-43 included defections by seven Republicans who voted with the Democrats to convict Trump. The Senate needed 67 votes to convict the president.
Portman issued a statement recognizing what the president did that day was “inexcusable because in his speech he encouraged the mob and that he bears some responsibility for the tragic violence that occurred.”
“But the question I must answer is not whether President Trump said and did things that were reckless and encouraged the mob. I believe that happened. The threshold question I must answer is whether a former president can be convicted by the Senate in the context of an impeachment. This would be unprecedented. Consistent with the two votes I have already taken in this process, I believe the Constitution reserves the narrow tool of impeachment and conviction for removal of current officeholders and current presidents and does not apply to former officeholders or former presidents. Impeachment in the Constitution is fundamentally about removing someone from office,” Portman wrote.
Republican Jim Jordan, from Urbana, who represents the 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House and is a ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “Acquitted again!”
Jeff Sites, a Lima Democrat who wants Jordan’s Congressional seat, responded in an email: “This vote is a gut punch for our democracy and the rule of law … It is a dangerous decision for our country’s future.”
Greg Sneary, former Republican Allen County Commissioner said he was “pleased that he’s acquitted” calling it a “shame that it was even brought up.”
Sneary believes that Trump didn’t incite the crowd to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“It was a shame. It shouldn’t have happened, but it did but certainly, you don’t try to trump up charges on somebody to try to blame them for something that they had nothing to do with,” Sneary said.
Sneary believes Trump is here to stay.
“He remains a major force, but it’s not only just Donald Trump. It’s the philosophy and what he brought to light and has shown people in America, what America really is. He’s caused a great awakening with the Make America Great movement,” Sneary said.
Michael Edelbrock, United Steelworkers Union President (USW Local 624) wasn’t surprised by the outcome.
“Not really. (I’m) disappointed. I thought maybe after the testimony, some of the Republicans would look at that and say, ‘You know, this is something. We should support and get him out of the picture and then he couldn’t run’ and then they could pick a candidate that didn’t have so much baggage,” Edelbrock said.
Edelbrock said Trump should have appeared and answered questions during the impeachment trial in the Senate.
“Yeah, if he felt strong enough, he should have had the backbone to do that. … I say he is directly responsible for that death and the other ones and he should be held accountable for that and I think he was kind of, pardon my language, chickens**t for not showing up,” Edelbrock said.
Edelbrock also believes the president incited the crowd to take over the Capitol.
“He’s definitely responsible for it. He’s been setting this up for a long time. He’s been crying the blues for months, so I absolutely believe he was the instigator of that,” Edelbrock said.
Edelbrock believes Trump will remain a powerful political force in the Republican Party, and that’s not a good thing.
“I used to be a Republican and just got so disappointed in how they went,” Edelbrock said.
Warren Pughsley, former Lima firefighter, was upset over the vote to acquit Trump and wrote:
“As Americans, we have been shown that decency and truth no longer are a perceived standard in our country. At least giving the perception of doing the right thing was something people could hold onto, but Republicans were saying they were going to acquit after Day 1 of the trial when everybody saw Trump’s attorneys fumbling and watched a video that showed the destruction the former president caused with his words and the party that had the supposed moral high ground just bulldozed it!” Pughsley said.
“The country is divided so this was a chance for our leaders to show the rest of us how to try to unite again. Uniting for the right should have been easy! But when people are so grounded in partisanship that they would rather ignore truth and facts, after they already denied witnesses in the first impeachment because they didn’t want to hear the truth, it is gonna be hard for our country to see our elected officials work together because they obviously don’t have to and that only further divides us as a country. … Republicans know that going against Trump could be political career suicide right now. So many of them put the future of their career before the future of the country! As a veteran, it’s disturbing but hey, it’s America in 2021,” Pughsley said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.