Josh Harder, the Democrat congressman who represents Ceres and most of Stanislaus County in the Congress, voted last week to impeach President Trump – a controversial vote that followed party lines.
The freshman District 10 congressman – who hinted during the 2017 campaign that he got into politics because of Trump’s politics – claimed that he was disappointed to vote for impeachment.
“The president put our national security at risk, invited another foreign government to interfere in our election, and used American tax dollars to further his own political agenda,” said Harder. “This abuse of power left Congress with no choice but to hold him accountable. No one is above the law.”
Republicans say House Democrats – who were talking impeachment before Trump took office – had no evidence that Trump violated any law. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called the impeachment vote a “defeat to the Constitution” and condemned Speaker Nancy Pelosi for allowing the floor vote.
The abuse of power article passed by a vote of 230-197 with one “present” vote; and the obstruction of Congress article by a vote of 229 to 198 and one “present” vote. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii voted present on both articles. Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, split his vote in favor of the abuse of power article but against the obstruction article.
No Republican supported articles of impeachment, which shied away from the use of the word “bribery,” which was an oft-repeated claim of Democrats during committee hearings. Two Democrats voted with Republicans against impeachment, one being Rep. Jeff Van Drew who announced he’s switching parties.
Leaders in the Republican majority U.S. Senate are expected to drop any vote on impeachment.
Harder’s office did not comment as to whether or not the congressman would be pressing for an equal investigation into the scandal of then Vice President Joe Biden pressuring Ukrainian prosecutors to be fired in exchange for U.S. financial aid – a claim he bragged about in a public speech.
Ted Howze, a Republican who is running against Harder in next year’s election, said impeachment was “the final act in what has been a three-year political circus that has monopolized the news cycle and held the legislative process hostage.
“They can’t win elections so they need to try and undo them,” said Howze, who said Harder has “abandoned his oath of office” in “peddling the impeachment narrative.”