Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, announced Wednesday he voted against impeaching President Donald Trump while the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted to impeach the president for “high crimes and misdemeanors” related to last week’s violent breach at the U.S. Capitol.
The vote marked Trump as the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. If the Senate were to conduct a trial and convict Trump, he would be ineligible to run for federal office again. However, the Senate is not due back in session until Jan. 19, and Trump’s presidency is due to end the next day when Joe Biden is inaugurated.
Wednesday’s impeachment measure moved forward mostly along party lines, 232-197, with Garcia voting against the matter, he said in a prepared statement.
“In Congress, my priority is working to advance common-sense, bipartisan policies that improve the lives of Californians and all Americans and help to safely open up our businesses and get employees back to work,” read the congressman’s statement, in part. “The only way we can do this is to move forward together as one nation. With only a few days left in the Trump administration, the vote to impeach the president is no more than political theater that runs the risk of further dividing us at a time when we need to come together.”
Garcia’s vote comes after the congressman, whose 25th District includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi valleys, voted last week along with more than 100 other GOP lawmakers in favor of objections to certifying the 2020 presidential election results.
“My objection to the electoral votes of two states was not in an attempt to overturn the results of the election. It was to fulfill my duty to protect the rights of the men and women of California’s 25th District who elected me to serve them and stand up for their rights,” read his previous statement.
Hours before the vote last week, a violent breach of the U.S. Capitol unfolded as supporters of Trump clashed with police in and around the area. One woman died after being shot by Capitol Police inside the Capitol, a police officer was beaten to death during the clash, and three others died from medical emergencies nearby, according to law enforcement.
On Monday, Democratic Congresswoman Cori Bush introduced House Resolution 25, which would direct the Committee on Ethics to investigate the 140 lawmakers who sought to overturn the election and remove them from office if found in violation of their oath of office.
Garcia, who also issued a statement last week condemning violence at the Capitol, said Wednesday he urged his colleagues “on both sides of the aisle to stop playing political games and start advancing good policy solutions.”