WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alone among Oregon's U.S. Representatives, Congressman Cliff Bentz voted against the second impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
Bentz, a Republican, represents the state's massive 2nd District — covering most of southern, central, and eastern Oregon. He was sworn in as a member of Congress just days prior to the Capitol insurrection on January 6.
Impeaching a President is not something I take lightly, but Donald Trump’s seditious actions were a clear violation of his oath of office and led to nothing short of a direct assault on our democracy. He must be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/qjX6YGCY3k— Rep Peter DeFazio (@RepPeterDeFazio) January 13, 2021
In a statement, Bentz cited the importance of unifying the nation around a peaceful transition into the Biden administration.
“I continue to share the emotions many are feeling in the aftermath of the unprecedented and unacceptable violence this past week," the Congressman said. "But the current rush-to-judgment impeachment proceedings have only succeeded in dividing our country even more.
"I voted against impeachment because our focus should be on unifying our nation, ensuring a peaceful transition to the Biden Administration, and working to address the pressing issues facing our country and Oregon's Second Congressional District. I came to Congress to stand up for rural communities across my district by addressing the terrible damage caused by recent wildfires, reforming the laws that govern our water rights, and ensuring we help those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Democrats in the House voted unanimously in favor of Trump's impeachment. All of Oregon's other Representatives are Democrats.
Congressman Peter DeFazio — representing Oregon's 4th District, which covers areas of western Oregon from Albany south into Curry, Douglas, and Josephine counties — voted in favor of impeachment, citing the six deaths that resulted from the Capitol insurrection.
“Impeaching a President is not something I take lightly, but Donald Trump’s seditious actions were a clear violation of his oath of office and led to nothing short of a direct assault on our democracy," said DeFazio. “Benjamin Franklin famously warned, as our founders finished drafting the Constitution, that we will only have a Republic so long as we are able to keep it. We are a nation of laws, and our great democratic experiment only works because we all agree to adhere to those laws.
"In order to move forward from this dark and painful chapter in our nation’s history, we must first hold its perpetrators — including Donald Trump — accountable to the Constitution that governs our nation and that he swore to uphold. He must be held accountable for his efforts to overturn November’s free and fair election and for his role in inciting this violent insurrection, and he must never be able to hold public office again.”
Just south of the Oregon border, Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa of California's North State both spoke and voted against Trump's impeachment.
"Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the second annual impeachment show extravaganza, brought to you by the censors and left-wing media, the fact-check ministers of shutdown and Big Tech and the Democrat Party," LaMalfa began.
LaMalfa went on to claim that the impeachment was not about Trump's words of incitement to his supporters in the lead-up to the storming of the U.S. Capitol, but about an "unbridled hatred" of the President and his defense of conservative values.