Even as the U.S. House moved swiftly to impeach President Donald Trump, Somerset's Congressman Hal Rogers again stood with the embattled president on Tuesday night.
Rogers voted against a House Resolution calling on Vice-President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare the president unable to serve. Pence, who had a "good meeting" with Trump on Monday, their first since the vice president was among those sheltering from the attack, was not expected to take any such action.
"Next week, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office and Congress should be making every effort to unify this nation, rather than taking divisive votes," Rogers said last night. "I continue to adamantly condemn the deadly riot at the Capitol last week, as every American should. Moving forward, may those we lost serve as a stark reminder of the desperate need for a united and peaceful country.
"As House Democrats push to remove President Trump from office, even in these final days of his administration, I have full faith and confidence in my close friend Vice President Mike Pence regarding the 25th Amendment," Rogers added.
The resolution was expected to pass, but voting had not been completed at press deadline.
Already scheduled to leave office next week, Trump is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be twice impeached. His rhetoric at a rally ahead of the Capitol uprising is now in the impeachment charge against him, even as his allegations about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.
The House is expected to push toward impeachment on Wednesday.
Trump, meanwhile, warned the lawmakers of impeachment and suggested it was the drive to oust him that was dividing the country.
"To continue on this path, I think it's causing tremendous danger to our country, and it's causing tremendous anger," Trump said.
In his first remarks to reporters since last week's attack on the Capitol, the outgoing president said, "I want no violence."
During an emotional debate ahead of the House action, Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., urged her Republican colleagues to understand the stakes, recounting a phone call from her son as she fled during the siege.
"Sweetie, I'm OK," she told him. "I'm running for my life."
But Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a top Trump ally just honored this week at the White House, refused to concede that Biden won the election outright.
Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., tied such talk to the Capitol attack, interjecting, "People came here because they believed the lie."
A handful of House Republicans could vote to impeach, but in the narrowly divided Senate there are not expected to be the two-thirds votes to convict him, though some Republicans say it's time for Trump to resign.