WASHINGTON — The three Iowa Democrats serving in the U.S. House voted to impeach President Trump tonight. Congressman Steve King, the only Iowa Republican in the delegation, opposed it. He said earlier this afternoon that Democrats were trying to undo the results of the 2016 election.
“They brought this case November 9th, the day after Trump was elected,” King said.
During a 90-second speech on the House floor, King also accused Democrats of pushing impeachment to divert attention from Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton’s actions.
“And to go so far as to bring impeachment hearings to try and cover all of this up,” King said, “and I would take you back to October of 2015, when Barack Obama said Hillary Clinton would never intend to jeopardize our national security.”
Republicans immediately criticized the two first-term congresswomen from Iowa who voted to impeach the president for abuse of power, suggesting Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque and Cindy Axne of West Des Moines had “destroyed” their chance at re-election in 2020.
Axne said she stands behind her vote.
“I never looked at the decision I had to make for this from a political perspective,” Axne said. “I wouldn’t be doing my job for the people in Iowa if that’s how I looked at my job. I looked at this from what’s best for our country and what my responsibilities are.”
Axne said her vote was about responding to the president’s abuse of power.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Axne said. “I wouldn’t have done it if all the facts hadn’t led to that.”
Finkenauer, in a written statement issued before the vote, said she had a duty to respond to an abuse of power at the highest level. Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City who is not seeking re-election, is the other member of the Iowa delegation who voted for the two articles of impeachment. In a written statement issued Tuesday, Loebsack said President Trump’s actions cannot be allowed to stand as an example for future leaders.
Both of the Republicans who represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate are criticizing the House vote. Senator Joni Ernst tweeted last night that Democrats “have been heck bent on impeaching (Trump) since day 1.” Senator Chuck Grassley issued a written statement. He accused Democrats of advancing the first “partisan impeachment” of a president in modern history.
The Iowa Democratic Party’s chairman tweeted that he was proud of the three Iowa Democrats in the House “for showing that no one, not even (Trump), is above the law.”