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Votes by Craig, Hagedorn reflect the division in the House on impeachment

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Angie Craig
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Democrat Angie Craig and Republican Jim Hagedorn reflected the deep division in the House of Representatives in a historic vote taken Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump. 

The two Minnesota representatives followed what was a near-party line vote, 232-196, to approve a resolution that sets out rules for the impeachment process. 

Craig, who voted for the resolution, said her vote was consistent with an earlier call for a "fair, open, and impartial impeachment inquiry."

"That is why I voted yes on formal procedures that will provide Democrats and Republicans equal time and a public forum to question witnesses," Craig said in a statement.

"I did not make this decision lightly. But we have a responsibility to uncover all the facts and ensure that no elected official is above the law," said Craig, who represents the state's 2nd Congressional District.

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Hagedorn, who voted against the resolution, called the process led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff "overtly political" and an "unwarranted effort to remove our duly elected president."

"The resolution offered by the Democrats today was a public relations charade to try to validate their closed, one-sided and partisan impeachment exercise," said Hagedorn, who represents the 1st District.

Instead of focusing on impeachment and politics, he said, Democrats should work with Republicans to pass a U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade deal and move forward with a transportation and infrastructure bill and enact measures to secure the country's borders.

It was only the third time in modern history that the House had taken a vote on an impeachment inquiry into a sitting president. 

Two Democrats broke with their party to vote against the measure, while Republicans -- under immense pressure from Trump to shut down the impeachment inquiry altogether -- unanimously opposed it. 

The impeachment inquiry was triggered by a whistleblower's complaint that Trump had pressured Ukraine's president to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter by withholding military aid to the country in an effort to damage his rival's political prospects. 

The resolution sets out the rights and procedures that will guide the process from here on out, including the public presentation of evidence and how Trump and his legal team will be able to eventually mount a defense. 

Pelosi spoke on the House floor next to a large placard of an American flag, reading aloud from the constitution as she made the case for the inquiry.

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"What is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy," she said before the vote. 

Republican party leaders argued that supporting the resolution would legitimize what they see as an improper three-year campaign to undo the results of the 2016 election. 

"Democrats are trying to impeach the president because they are scared they cannot defeat him at the ballot box," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California and the minority leader. 

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Jim Hagedorn

Related Topics: JIM HAGEDORN
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