LIVE Trump impeachment: Will Florida GOP break with president?

The U.S. House will vote to impeach President Trump — again. But will Florida’s…

LIVE Trump impeachment: Will Florida GOP break with president?

Antonio Fins
 
| Palm Beach Post

LIVE Trump impeachment: Will Florida GOP break with president? 1

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Impeachment #2: What it means for President Trump

Here’s what’s at stake if President Donald Trump is impeached (again).

USA TODAY

The U.S. House is expected to impeach President Trump — again.

One source of intrigue during today’s proceedings will focus on Florida’s delegation, specifically the state’s Republican lawmakers. Florida Republicans have steadfastly backed Trump throughout his presidency.

Will they continue to stand lockstep with Trump today?

This story will be updated throughout Wednesday’s impeachment proceedings. Check back for updates.

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Hours before she casts another vote to impeach President Trump, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, said she believes the president is a “clear and ongoing threat” to the nation.

“I think it’s pretty clear the president incited a violent insurrection against our democracy,” she said. “He basically charged up a violent mob to attack the Capitol to stop the Congress from fulfilling our duty to count the Electoral College votes.”

The result, she said, is five people died, many others were injured, law enforcement officers were beaten — and one killed — and the nation’s capital remains under intense security. In fact, media reports stated that more National Guard troops were in the Capitol than during the Civil War.

 “The president is a clear and ongoing threat to our country,” Frankel said, adding Congress needed to hold Trump “accountable.” 

Frankel lamented the political polarization in the country but said healing can’t take place while the president still poses a threat.

“Look the country is not united right now,” she said. “We are in danger with this president. You can see what he did just on one day, with a speech. He almost had the legislative branch of government overthrown and killed. I cannot tell you how many people had near death experiences in that capitol.”

Frankel said she was not sure how many Republicans would join the majority Democrats, but those who give Trump a pass are “complicit.”

“The members who voted to object to the certification are complicit in what happened,” she said. “They are continuing to perpetuate the fraud of the president. He’ll be gone but his fraudulent assertions will not be gone. He’s gotten millions of people convinced the election was stolen from him. That’s a real problem, obviously.”

She also said she doubted the sincerity of their arguments saying they are a reflection of “fear” and not “facts.”

“I do not believe that their position is based upon facts or policy,” Frankel alleged. “It is based on fear of the Trump voter and that’s what it’s all about. They know much better. They know that the election was not stolen. They know that the certification was proper. But they are afraid of Donald Trump and they are afraid that Donald T has a very strong base.”

While his colleagues were debating the impeachment of the commander-in-chief, Republican Brian Mast’s Twitter account this morning sent out a photo of the congressman surrounded by  National Guard troops in the U.S. Capitol.

The tweet said Mast, a wounded military veteran whose district covers parts of northern Palm Beach County, was giving the troops an “impromptu” tour of the Capitol.

On Tuesday, Mast issued a statement saying that while he condemned the attack on the Capitol last week, he agreed with Vice President Mike Pence that the 25th Amendment should not be invoked to punish a president.

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The Tampa area congresswoman called last week’s “traitorous incitement of insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol the “single most depraved betrayal of the U.S. Constitution ever committed by a president.”

“Violence during the transfer of power, Confederate flags, anti-Semitic paraphernalia desecrated this Capitol so accountability must come swiftly,” she said. “We must act with the same resolution we showed in the early morning hours after the insurrection”

Castor called for impeachment and removal of the president concluding her one minute floor speech saying: “Donald Trump’s defilement of this Capitol will not stand.” 

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Orlando, said Wednesday morning that the U.S. House has the votes to impeach President Trump, including with support from some Republicans. 

“We will impeach the Preside of the United States — twice,” Demings said on a national network news program. “The first time this has been done in history.”

Demings said Wednesday’s vote is a culmination of four years of “unbelievable behavior” and lawlessness from the president capped by last week’s insurrection aimed at the “overthrow” of the government. 

“I believe the time is right. I believe the time is now,” Demings said. “And I believe we have more bipartisan support, certainly more than we had the last time … We can get this done if we have the political will to do it.”

Demings helped prosecute the case against Trump as a House Manager in last year’s U.S. Senate impeachment trial. She said Congress has to act to hold Trump “accountable.”

“This is all about accountability. Holding this president accountable,” she said.

Demings also criticized Republican colleagues, including former veterans, law enforcement officers and judges she said need abide by their oaths of office.

“We are not going to let their lack of commitment stop us from fulfilling our constitutional duties,” said Demings, herself a former police officer and police chief in Orlando. “They will go down in history for not supporting our Constitution, for helping the president incite a riot and and not supporting the rule of law. They’ll have to answer for that. But let me say this, we know them by the fruits that they bear, and we know what they have done and what they have not stood up for to protect.”

If you’re wondering, 15 of Florida’s 16 GOP members of the House on Tuesday voted against calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. The exception, Daniel Webster, whose district includes The Villages, was not in Washington to vote due to a family health reason.

All 11 Florida Democrats voted in favor.

Impeachment vote: What about GOP?

The U.S. House is expected to impeach President Trump — again.

One source of intrigue during today’s proceedings will focus on Florida’s delegation, specifically the state’s Republican lawmakers. 

Florida Republicans have steadfastly backed Trump throughout his presidency.

Trump, after all, is a resident of the state and is expected to be a post-White House kingmaker here from his club at Mar-a-Lago. Just last week, all but two Florida GOP House members parroted Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud and voted to reject Electoral College ballots from Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Will they continue to stand lockstep with Trump today?

Impeachment received major momentum Tuesday when Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney, the number three Republican in the House, said she would vote to impeach Trump for inciting last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the New York Times reported, welcomes an unprecedented second impeachment of Trump.

Electoral College: How they voted

Below is a list of Florida House members and how they voted last week on Electoral College objections. The state’s U.S. House delegation is majority Republican. The GOP holds 16 seats versus 11 by Democrats. 

Matt Gaetz

Party: Republican

US House District: 1st

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Gaetz objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Neal Dunn

Party: Republican

US House District: 2nd

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Dunn objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Katherine Cammack

Party: Republican

US House District: 3rd

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Cammack  objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

John Rutherford

Party: Republican

US House District: 4th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Rutherford objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Al Lawson

Party: Democrat

US House District: 5th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Michael Waltz

Party: Republican

US House District: 6th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Stephanie Murphy

Party: Democrat

US House District: 7th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Bill Posey

Party: Republican

US House District: 8th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Posey objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Darren Soto

Party: Democrat

US House District: 9th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Val Demings

Party: Democrat

US House District: 10th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Daniel Webster

Party: Republican

US House District: 11th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Webster objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Gus Bilirakis

Party: Republican

US House District: 12th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? DID NOT VOTE

Charlie Crist

Party: Democrat

US House District: 13th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Kathy Castor

Party: Democrat

US House District: 14th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Scott Franklin

Party: Republican

US House District: 15th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Franklin objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Vern Buchanon

Party: Republican

US House District: 16th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Gregory Steube

Party: Republican

US House District: 17th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Steube objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Brian Mast

Party: Republican

US House District: 18th (Palm Beach/Treasure Coast) 

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Mast objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Byron Donalds

Party: Republican

US House District: 19th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Donalds objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Alcee Hastings

Party: Democrat

US House District: 20th (Palm Beach/Broward)

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NOT PRESENT

Lois Frankel

Party: Democrat

US House District: 21st (Palm Beach)

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Theodore “Ted” Deutch

Party: Democrat

US House District: 22nd (Palm Beach/Broward)

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Party: Democrat

US House District: 23rd

Objected to the Electoral College votes: NO

Frederica Wilson

Party: Democrat

US House District: 24th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NO

Mario Diaz-Balart

Party: Republican

US House District: 25th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Diaz-Balart objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Carlos Giménez

Party: Republican

US House District: 26th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? YES, Gimenéz objected to both Arizona and Pennsylvania

Maria Salazar

Party: Republican

US House District: 27th

Objected to the Electoral College votes? NOT PRESENT

This list was compiled by C.A. Bridges, Digital Producer for the USA TODAY Network. 

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