Here’s what local lawmakers say about calls to remove Trump, Electoral College votes

Area Republicans defend votes on certifying election results

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on Thursday joined a number of lawmakers calling for President Donald Trump’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office.

Those calling for the unprecedented step of invoking the 25th Amendment include the top Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate. U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, called for Trump to be removed and impeached. U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said a conversation about removing Trump from office needs to happen.

They blamed Trump for fomenting a mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday disrupting the count of Electoral College votes by Congress.

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“Yesterday was a dark day for our country. Domestic terrorists attacked our seat of government, at the behest of the president of the United States,” Brown said in a statement Thursday. “This was his last, desperate attempt to overturn the will of the American voters, but he failed, and democracy won. We must hold the president accountable for inciting this attack on our country.”

“The cabinet and vice president should immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, to prevent him from doing more damage between now and Inauguration Day.”

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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. PHOTO/MICHAEL D. PITMAN

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. PHOTO/MICHAEL D. PITMAN

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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. PHOTO/MICHAEL D. PITMAN

Southwest Ohio’s all-Republican congressional delegation unanimously decried the violence that overtook the Capitol Wednesday but were mum on laying blame. Some spent Thursday explaining their votes for or against objecting to counting votes from certain states won by President-elect Joe Biden.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, issued a statement saying: “Last night the president finally acknowledged there will be an orderly transition of power on Jan. 20, something I had called on him to do. Now is the time to bring our polarized country together and ensure an orderly transition of power in 13 days.”

Mark Caleb Smith, director of the center for political studies at Cedarville University, said it’s possible that Congress could move quickly to attempt to impeach Trump a second time.

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Invoking the 25th Amendment would be quicker, he said, but unlike impeachment, it wouldn’t carry the penalty of preventing Trump from running for the office again.

The 25th Amendment allows Mike Pence and a majority of the president’s cabinet to vote to declare him unfit for office, Smith said. They would then send a letter to Congress declaring him unfit for office and making Pence president. Trump would then have an opportunity to protest the decision.

It’s usually thought of when a president is undergoing a health procedure or for health reasons is unable to carry out the duties of president, he said.

“We’ve neve seen it used though in anything like a situation like this,” Smith said.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday he opposes that idea.

“Invoking that is something we would not want to see happen because, once again, I think that would stoke the fires of people who believe there is a conspiracy and it would lessen the faith in our system,” said DeWine, a Republican. “I’m not close to it. I can’t make that judgment call, but as a matter for the good of the country, that seems to me to be something that would cause more division than healing.”

Area Republicans explain their vote

Area Republicans condemned the violence at the capitol, but stopped short of blaming Trump.

“The Constitution protects peaceful protest, not riots or rioters,” said U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy in a statement Thursday.

Davidson defended his vote to object to certifying the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania in a joint session of Congress that extended to the early hours of Thursday morning after law enforcement officials retook the Capitol building. Some Republican lawmakers reversed plans to challenge the election after the riot.

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In this image from video, Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (House Television via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

In this image from video, Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (House Television via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

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In this image from video, Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (House Television via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

“I voted with my district, representing the concerns of Ohio’s 8th District residents,” he said. “I objected to electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania, where numerous systemic issues threatened to undermine the equal protection principle of ‘one person, one vote.’”

Davidson’s vote drew a sharp rebuke from Democrats back home who called for him to resign or be expelled from Congress.

“By validating this mass delusion of known right-wing agitators, it was foreseeable that Davidson’s actions would be a green light to (Wednesday’s) occupation and vandalism of Congress,” said Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chairman Brian Hester

“His need to pointlessly grandstand for a deluded political base has put this country and its commitment to democracy in danger. He should be embarrassed.”

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Other Ohio lawmakers who voted to object to the election results were Jim Jordan, R-Urbana; Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati; Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville; and Bill Johnson, R-Marietta;

Jordan, a staunch Trump ally, said in a floor speech that he objected to changes made before the election that he believes weren’t properly approved by state legislatures.

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Jim Jordan

Credit: Submitted Photo

Jim Jordan

Credit: Submitted Photo

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Jim Jordan

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“Americans instinctively know there was something wrong with this election,” Jordan said in a speech on the House floor. “We are the final check and balance, the authority rests with us, the United States Congress, the body closest to the American people, right where the founders wanted it.”

Chabot voted to object to certifying the votes from Pennsylvania but not Arizona. He said in a statement Thursday that he believes Pennsylvania officials usurped the power of state lawmakers and unconstitutionally changed rules before the election.

“I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, and could not in good conscience vote to certify electors from a state where our Constitution wasn’t followed,” he said.

“In Arizona, on the other hand, the objections were focused on the application of state law, and I did not think it appropriate for Congress to get involved with such interpretations.”

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The Cook Political Report doesn’t list a single Ohio congressional district as competitive in 2018 but says two have the potential to be competitive, including the 1st District held by Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati. “It’s one of the most urban districts in Ohio that’s held by a Republican,” the publication’s House editor says.

The Cook Political Report doesn’t list a single Ohio congressional district as competitive in 2018 but says two have the potential to be competitive, including the 1st District held by Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati. “It’s one of the most urban districts in Ohio that’s held by a Republican,” the publication’s House editor says.

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The Cook Political Report doesn’t list a single Ohio congressional district as competitive in 2018 but says two have the potential to be competitive, including the 1st District held by Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati. “It’s one of the most urban districts in Ohio that’s held by a Republican,” the publication’s House editor says.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, broke with the majority of members of his party in the U.S. House and didn’t object to the election results. On Wednesday, he issued a statement saying he was “appalled” at what occurred at the Capitol and called for Trump to “permit Congress to facilitate a peaceful transition of power.”

Turner’s office did not release any statement Thursday or respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also voted against objections to certifying the election results.

Portman said he was concerned about setting a precedent where Congress circumvents the will of the states, especially after numerous recounts and court hearings found no evidence of fraud or irregularities widespread enough to change the election results.

He noted he also opposed an effort by Democrats to object to counting Ohio’s electoral votes after the 2004 election.