WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) issued the following statement after voting against the impeachment of President Donald Trump:
“The violence and lawlessness that occurred exactly one week ago today was an assault on our democracy. I condemn that assault and the injury, destruction and death it caused with every fiber of my being. I want each and every person responsible held accountable and brought to justice.
“The pursuit of justice begins with thorough investigations by law enforcement and legal authorities, not the United States Congress. Whomever these investigations determine responsible should face charges to the fullest extent of the law and, subsequently, face the consequences of their unacceptable actions.
“I look forward to these investigations into the President, several of my fellow colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and those who physically participated in the chaos. However, I do not believe that voting in favor of impeachment today would have furthered this pursuit of justice. Simply put, there is not enough time to investigate, try and convict the President in the people’s house before he leaves office. That timeline should not bar judgement in the true courts of law.
“As we learned last week, political gamesmanship has consequences. While I stand willing, ready and able to risk my political career and my life for a process that would truly hold people accountable, I refuse to further endanger the lives of my colleagues, my staff, and my family for something that will amount to nothing more than a symbolic gesture.
“To those calling for unity on both sides of the aisle – many of you have laughed at my similar calls for years, all while fanning the flames with hateful and untruthful rhetoric. We now know that rhetoric is not just rude and irresponsible. It is dangerous and destructive.
“I hope that as we peacefully transition to the Biden-Harris Administration, we can restore the level of civility and respect we need to effectively serve the American people. When President Obama was elected, I did not vote for him but I wished him well because his success was the American people’s success. The same holds true for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris.
“I call upon my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, to be better. What does it say about the motivations of Congress that it took us eight months to provide additional relief for those struggling with the ongoing pandemic, but only a week to impeach the President?”