There are expected to be few surprises from Pennsylvania’s evenly split congressional delegation as Congress debates impeaching President Donald Trump for the second time.
As the House began considering an article of impeachment Wednesday morning citing “incitement of insurrection,” two extremely different interpretations emerged of the violent pro-Trump mob that attacked the Capitol last week, and of the president’s words to members of that mob before they broke into the building.
Some Republicans argued that Trump didn’t directly incite violence that ended with five people dead, and that impeaching him now would be needlessly divisive. Democrats have argued that Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election, baseless allegations of fraud, and calls for supporters to “be strong” and “take back our country” clearly prompted the mob to riot.
Guy Reschenthaler (R, PA-14), the first Pennsylvania congressman to speak on the article, argued against impeachment.
“President Trump has committed to a peaceful and uninterrupted transfer of power, but that’s not good enough for my colleagues,” he said.
Democrats quickly rebutted that the past week had been decidedly not peaceful, and said they believe Trump directly incited the violence that drove them all out of session and into hiding deep in the Capitol.
Reschenthaler was one of eight Pennsylvania congressmen who, in the hours after the mob seized the Capitol, voted against certifying the commonwealth’s election results. None of those eight have expressed any regrets for their vote, and are all expected to oppose impeachment.