Harshbarger opposes impeachment

U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger, R-Kingsport, released a statement Tuesday afternoon that she opposed the ousting of President Donald J. Trump during his last week in office.

“I strongly oppose invoking the 25th Amendment and impeaching the President,” she said. “After the atrocities on January 6th, President Trump announced his full support for a peaceful transition of power. The calls for impeachment are at odds with Joe Biden’s call for unity and will only further the divide.”

Congress is expected to vote on impeaching Trump on Wednesday.

If impeached, Trump would be the only president in history to be impeached twice.

Harshbarger said it appears to be a political move.

“Congressional Democrats have even floated the idea to wait until after Biden’s first one hundred days in office to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, showing this is nothing more than a way to score political points with their base,” she said.

Harshbarger, in the statement, called on Congress to start looking at the immediate issues.

“These political debates are distracting from the many more pressing issues facing millions of Americans each day to which Congress should devote this time to solving, such as relief from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, skyrocketing prescription drug prices and the opioid epidemic, to name a few,” she said. “We should start focusing on solutions to the important issues effecting Americans. I sincerely wish that Nancy Pelosi exercised the same amount of urgency when Congress was trying to pass COVID relief measures.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville, who represents Jefferson, Grainger and Claiborne counties, also released a statement. Burchett voted against envoking the 25th Amendment Tuesday, along with Harshbarger.

He acknowledged Trump did a poor job in leading the country during the crisis, but said he felt there was not a good reason to impeach him with just one week left.

“President Trump showed extremely poor leadership on Wednesday, but there is no good Constutional argument for this impeachment effort,” he said. “Speaker Pelosi knows the Senate will not try this case before the President leaves office, so another impeachment will only worsen divisions rather than uniting our country.”

Tennessee’s senators Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, and Bill Hagerty, R-Tennessee, had not released any statements concerning the impeachment as of press time. But, the U.S. House of Representatives will be the body voting at this time.

If the House of Representatives votes to impeach, the U.S. Senate will go to trial on the charges at a later date.