Local reps among few who voted to consider Trump impeachment


U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, and Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, bucked their own party’s leadership Wednesday and voted to consider an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump.

The impeachment resolution by Rep. Al Green, D-Tex., was tabled on a lopsided 364-to-58 vote, with all Republicans and a majority of Democrats voting to set the measure aside. Four other Democrats voted “present.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., issued a joint statement criticizing Trump but noting that congressional committees and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are investigating the president’s actions.

“Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment,” Pelosi and Hoyer said.

Frankel, whose House district includes Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, disagreed.

“I thought it would have been fair to have a proper process of order for the resolution, that it should go to a committee, be subject to amendment if necessary and fully debated,” Frankel told The Palm Beach Post.

Frankel said her vote Wednesday “was not a vote to impeach or not impeach. It was a vote to seriously consider the allegations that were in the resolution.”

Hastings’ office did not respond to a request for comment late Wednesday. Hastings has a unique perspective on impeachment. A former federal judge, he was acquitted of bribery conspiracy charges in a 1983 criminal trial but impeached by the House in 1988 and removed by the Senate in 1989. He was elected to Congress in 1992.

The other Democrat in Palm Beach County’s House delegation, Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, has been a vocal critic of Trump but voted with the majority to table the impeachment resolution.

The only other House member from Florida to vote to consider the impeachment resolution was Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami.

In a letter to his colleagues on Tuesday, Green called Trump “a bigot in the White House who incites hatred and hostility.” Green argued that impeachment is a political rather than a judicial process, so Trump can be impeached “for his high misdemeanors, which need not be a crime.”

After the vote, Green said he would press on with his campaign to remove Trump and he was already working on a new impeachment resolution.

“It’s a process, and this is another step in the process,” he said. “Just stay tuned. I assure you, that’s not the last vote to impeach.”

The Washington Post contributed to this story.



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