Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District Congressman cast a vote against impeaching President Donald Trump, calling the move a “serious and divisive” tool.

The vote came after House leadership and committees alleged that Trump abused his power in trying to influence a foreign government to investigate one of his potential Presidential race rivals. The articles of impeachment also included a charge of obstruction of Congress because Trump did not cooperate with Congressional investigators and ordered his staff and appointees not to as well.

“This is the day Democrats have been planning since the American people duly elected President Trump,” Westerman said in a Dec. 18 release following the impeachment vote. “Over the past few months, the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees have neglected legislative work and instead spent taxpayer dollars handpicking witnesses and hearing secondhand testimony. (Judiciary Chair) Adam Schiff’s closed-door hearings allowed him to selectively leak information that fit his narrative. Judiciary Committee’s only witnesses were law school professors and congressional staff. Democrats’ original claims of bribery didn’t even make it into the final articles of impeachment.

“Over and over, House Democrats have proved this is a sham process. It’s been an ever-changing narrative, dictated by primetime ratings and whatever happened to be polling well that day. For these and many other reasons, I voted against the articles of impeachment. This is one of the most serious and divisive tools Congress can use, and every other presidential impeachment had bipartisan support throughout. In this case, the only bipartisan votes have been cast against impeachment proceedings.”

While Westerman joined his Republican colleagues in denouncing the measure, the Arkansas Democratic Party released a call for the articles to get a fair hearing now that they have been passed.

“The U.S. House of Representatives found evidence to move forward with an indictment of President Trump, with a trial to follow in the U.S. Senate. Any partisan labels aside, failure to follow the U.S. Constitution is an indictable offense that merits a public hearing, as well as a right to a trial in the Senate,” said Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray. “If there has been any form of abuse of power or obstruction it is a direct violation of the Constitution and must be addressed.”

The full text of the articles of impeachment can be read online at bit.ly/2tDPqXU.

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