Members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation are signaling that they don’t support removing President Donald Trump from office after last week’s Capitol breach.
U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R- W.Va., on Monday blocked a House Democratic attempt to adopt via unanimous consent a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.
Mooney said in a statement afterward that the resolution should not be adopted without debate on the House floor.
The House adjourned immediately following Mooney’s objection, and House Democrats, holding the majority in that chamber, plan to vote to impeach Trump this week. Trump faces one charge of “incitement of insurrection” for repeating false claims that “we won this election, and we won it by a landslide” and urging supporters to “fight like hell” at a rally at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., according to the impeachment article.
The mob then stormed and vandalized the Capitol, injuring law enforcement personnel, chanting “Hang Mike Pence” and “Where are they?” as they searched for lawmakers, according to The Associated Press.
When asked Monday whether Mooney supports impeaching Trump, the congressman’s office referred to an interview with Talk Radio WRNR last week in which Mooney said he “can’t say yes” to holding Trump responsible for the Capitol attack, arguing that people are responsible for their own actions.
“We should all watch our rhetoric, including the president, of course,” Mooney said.
Samantha Cantrell, press secretary for Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., declined Monday to say where Miller stood on impeachment, saying only that Miller “feels that the nation needs more healing, and not further division.”
Mooney and Miller objected to certifying Joe Biden’s presidential election win over Trump last week.
Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., did not, but his office on Monday referred to an interview he did on WV MetroNews’s radio show “Talkline” last week in which he said he does not support removing Trump from office before his term ends on Jan. 20.
“If they want to keep the tension, the anxiety alive for the next 10 or 11 days, go ahead and [remove him],” McKinley said. “To keep this wound open for the next 10 or 11 days, I don’t think it’d be productive.”
McKinley added that Trump bears “huge” responsibility for inciting the riot but that media and the Congress did as well.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., could not be reached for comment. Manchin told CNN Sunday that Trump should be impeached but questioned the efficacy of beginning Senate consideration of impeachment as Biden’s presidency begins on Jan. 20, suggesting that prosecutors look at the behavior of Trump and others who rallied those who went on to attack the Capitol.
Manchin did not support expelling Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, from the Senate but said that they had “blood on their conscience.” Hawley and Cruz led the effort in the Senate to oppose certifying the presidential election results.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who voted to certify Biden’s presidential election win last week, could not be reached for comment. Her office referred last week to an interview she did last Wednesday with West Virginia Public Broadcasting where she said that Trump “perpetrated” a narrative.
“I think he owns some of this, yes, and probably a great deal of it,” Capito said.