, | Cincinnati Enquirer
President Donald Trump “bears some responsibility” for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said in a statement.
Portman called on Trump to address the nation and to urge his supporters to remain nonviolent.
“Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his actions afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened on January 6,” Portman said in the statement.
He said he’s troubled by reports of additional threats of violence at state capitols and Washington, D.C., leading up to the inauguration.
“Today, I call on President Trump to address the nation and explicitly urge his supporters to remain peaceful and refrain from violence,” Portman said. “If our nation experiences additional violence and destruction at the hands of his supporters in Washington DC and state capitols around the country, and he does not directly and unambiguously speak out now when threats are known, he will bear responsibility.”
Portman ignored questions from The Enquirer on whether Trump should be impeached or face other consequences related to the Jan. 6 mob.
‘We must find common ground’
The Enquirer has asked all members of Congress in the Cincinnati region whether they support impeachment and what, if any, consequences Trump should face related to the insurrection. Only Portman, Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Steve Chabot have responded.
Chabot, in a statement to The Enquirer, said Trump should not be impeached or removed from office. But the Republican from Westwood ignored the question about whether Trump should face other consequences.
“Last Thursday, President Trump made a public statement in which he conceded the election, and committed to cooperating in the transition of power to the new administration,” Chabot said in the statement. “At this point, we need to turn our attention towards coming together as a nation. To do so, we must find common ground and work together on bipartisan solutions to the problems we face.”
Chabot warned against removing the president using the 25th Amendment or through impeachment.
“Encouraging the President’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and launching another impeachment, as House Democrats plan to do this week, will only serve to further divide the American people,” Chabot said. “And that would be a mistake for our country.”
‘This was a terrorist attack’
Sen. Brown, by contrast, is all for impeachment.
“This was a terrorist attack on our country and we have to hold everyone involved accountable, including the President and Members of Congress,” Brown, a Democrat, said in his statement to The Enquirer. “If the cabinet and Vice President fail to invoke the 25th Amendment, Congress must move forward quickly on impeachment.”
Brown said Congress must “show the country and the world that we will not tolerate violent attacks on our democracy and our citizens, and that justice will be served to anyone responsible. The violence, division, and conspiracy theories will not end until all Republican leaders join us in making clear that this election was fair, Joe Biden will be our legitimate president, and our democracy is worth defending.”
‘No person stands above the law’
For his part, Chabot also voted against impeaching Trump in January. But in 1998, when Democratic president Bill Clinton was under fire, Chabot led the charge for impeachment. He was one of the House floor managers presenting the charges against Clinton during the Senate trial.
“No person stands above the law,” Chabot said in 1998. “All Americans – no matter how rich, how powerful, how well connected – should be held accountable for their actions. Every American must be held accountable.”
Chabot was also one of five Ohio Republicans last week to object to the certification of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, even after the insurrection.
The Enquirer reached out to the other Cincinnati-area members of Congress – Reps. Brad Wenstrup, Warren Davidson and Thomas Massie. None of the three has responded.