Reed wants Trump to face ‘justice’; impeachment not the answer
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed said President Donald Trump should face “justice” following the riot last week at the Capitol, but doesn’t believe impeachment is the right answer.
Reed, R-Corning, in an op-ed published in the New York Times, said he plans to join House members in introducing a censure measure Tuesday against the president “to ensure accountability occurs without delay for the events of Jan. 6. We must also look at alternatives that could allow Congress to bar Mr. Trump from holding federal office in the future.”
The congressman said rushing toward impeachment would further divide the country.
“Most important, there is inadequate time to reasonably investigate, present and debate articles of impeachment. Rushing through the substantive and procedural requirements for such a monumental action will directly diminish the validity of impeachment. We cannot rush to judgment simply because we want retribution or, worse, because we want to achieve a particular political outcome.
“These aren’t minor concerns. A hasty impeachment could raise a host of consequences that could have a striking impact on the long-term stability of our country. The House’s article of impeachment specifies that it is for ‘Incitement of Insurrection.’ But while the president’s words were unwise, intemperate and wrong, they may not qualify as incitement. And an impeachment on the grounds that they do will inevitably erode the norms around what may be considered constitutionally protected speech.
“Additionally, a snap impeachment will undoubtedly fuel the divisions between our citizens at a time when the wounds of Jan. 6 are still raw. With the start of a new administration and a new Congress, there is a real opportunity to build bridges and unite the American people around our shared values.”
Reed was previously named an Honorary Chair of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in New York and has been considered a close ally of the president. The congressman was one of the first Republicans to acknowledge Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election and declined to object to the certification of the electoral college.
The Corning Replican gave a fiery speech to Congress shortly after a mob entered the Capitol. However, he said impeaching Trump over incitement would “consume Congress” long after the president is out of office.
“A too-quick impeachment will not suddenly change the minds of millions of Americans who still do not recognize the election of President-elect Biden as legitimate,” he wrote in his op-ed. “In fact, rushed proceedings will be seen as validating the view that impeachment is part of a multiyear campaign to delegitimize Mr. Trump’s 2016 election.
“We cannot give credibility to the belief that Washington chooses to hold people accountable only for mere political advantage, especially to the detriment of the Constitution.”