The Tennessee Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives said Tuesday they will vote for the articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Their announcement comes on the heels of top House leaders charging Trump with abuse of power for withholding aide to Ukraine, and obstruction of Congress.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, cited the protection of the U.S. Constitution as the reason he supports impeachment.
“Trump has repeatedly placed his personal political interests above the national interests he swore to preserve, protect and defend,” Cohen said in a statement Tuesday. “This impeachment is about patriotism and duty, not politics. We are abiding by our oath to protect the Constitution and the future of our democracy.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, said the president’s actions have “harmed America.”
“Several of the President’s top advisors have already been convicted of other criminal activity and his own former chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, warned the President that he would likely be impeached if he did not change his ways,” Cooper said in a statement. “While Congress has carried out its constitutional duty to find the truth, the President has repeatedly obstructed its efforts.”
Tuesday’s reactions broke along party lines, with most Republicans quickly criticizing the Democrat-led House’s decision to impeach.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has refrained from commenting on the inquiry, but Tennessee’s junior senator, Marsha Blackburn, told Tennessee reporters Tuesday the impeachment process in the House has been “rushed.”
“They have an incomplete record,” Blackburn said. “When it comes to the Senate, we will take it up. We will set the rules and we will decide how we move forward, and then we will also make a decision as to when we have a vote of consideration.”
It started with quid pro quo, then extortion, then bribery, now we’ve got abuse of power and obstruction.
The President has executive privilege. He can use executive privilege. Every President has done that.
— Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) December 10, 2019
U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, also criticized the process. He called the charges a “joke.”
“If you look at those articles, it’s almost laughable,” Green said on a video posted on his Twitter account. “It started with quid pro quo, and then extortion, and then bribery and now they’ve come up with this abuse of power thing. … This is a farce.”
The House is expected to vote next week on the articles of impeachment.
Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate’s majority leader, has signaled the top chamber will hold a trial once the House votes.