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Impeachment divides Wisconsin delegation along party lines

Capitol Hill Capitol Building Capitol Dome
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 14:51:30-05

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — No Republicans in Wisconsin’s congressional delegation supported impeaching President Donald Trump on Wednesday, based on their public comments ahead of the fast-moving House vote.

The impeachment vote comes a week after Trump encouraged loyalists at a rally to “fight like hell” against November’s election results before they stormed the U.S. Capitol. But all five of Wisconsin’s Republican House members said ahead of the vote that they opposed impeachment.

All three House Democrats from Wisconsin planned to vote in favor of impeachment.

No congressional Republicans backed impeaching Trump during his 2019 impeachment vote, but some were expected to side with Democrats during Wednesday’s vote.

In 2019, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, of La Crosse, didn’t reveal his vote in support of impeachment before he cast it. But Kind made clear Tuesday that he supported impeachment this time.

“If President Trump has any decency left, he should resign,” Kind said.

Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore also planned to vote for impeachment.

Republican Reps. Mike Gallagher, Bryan Steil, Glenn Grothman, Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany also said they opposed impeachment. Fitzgerald and Tiffany, Wisconsin’s two newest members of Congress, both objected to certifying presidential election results last week.

“The electoral count has been certified, Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States, and I plan to attend his inauguration,” Tiffany, of Minocqua, said in a statement. “It is now time for all of us — Democrats and Republicans alike — to turn down the temperature, condemn criminal violence and intimidation on all sides, stop the political score-settling, and move on with the business of the American people.”

Tiffany said during House debate that he hoped Biden would call off the impeachment effort, which Tiffany said would “rub salt in the wounds for millions of Americans.”

“Joe Biden has talked about unity and healing,” Tiffany said. “Is that what this is today?”

Also on Wednesday, the Wisconsin Democratic Party announced it was launching a six-figure ad buy targeting Sen. Ron Johnson. The Wisconsin Republican has been one of Trump’s loudest supporters and has expressed concerns about the legitimacy of the election. He signed on to an objection of certifying Arizona’s election results, then after the riot voted against the objection.

The Democratic Party said the ad, which calls on Johnson to resign, was airing in Wisconsin and in Washington, D.C. Johnson is up for reelection in 2022 but has not said whether he will seek a third term.

Both of Wisconsin’s largest newspapers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal, have both called on Johnson to resign along with Tiffany and Fitzgerald.