WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5) provided the following statement:
“On January 6, I watched with horror as mob violence overtook the United States Capitol and American lives were lost. It was the darkest day during my time in Congress; there isn’t a close second. We mourn the loss of Capitol Police Officers Sicknick and Liebengood, and pray for the dozens of other officers who were injured during the breach of the Capitol.
“The President’s reprehensible rhetoric leading up to January 6 and on that morning were a moral failure. There were many instances, one of which occurred during a speech on the National Mall before the mob broke into the Capitol, where the President again pressured Vice President Pence to exceed his constitutional duty during the certification of the election. I condemned the violence when it took place, and again, reiterate that I strongly denounce and in no way condone the President’s language prior to the outbreak of mob violence.
“There is no doubt that there should be accountability for these actions. The question faced today, is impeachment the correct course of action?
“As I said last week, the United States Constitution is the greatest document in self-government the world has ever known. Even after great debate between the Framers when drafting the document that would guide our Republic for generations to come, there are many unanswered questions the Constitution leaves up for interpretation. The impeachment process contains many of these unanswered questions.
“House Democrats have chosen to embark upon a historically unprecedented impeachment process, with only seven days remaining in the President’s term. Today, the House of Representatives impeached a sitting President without calling witnesses, without committee consideration, and it all took place with only hours of debate.
“In previous presidential impeachments in the House, the shortest was 10 days in 1868, and the longest was three months in 1974. Due to the realities of the timeline before us, it would be difficult to remove President Trump from office before the end of his term, which is ultimately the reason for filing impeachment articles. Moving forward with a Senate trial for a President who is already out of office will prevent the Senate from working on the issues facing our country. The Senate would not be able to fulfill their necessary legislative duties, such as providing the American people the relief they need from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are better as a nation when we work together and engage in respectful civil discourse with one another. If a motion of censure had come to the floor, I would have strongly considered it to ensure accountability for the horrific events of last week. A snap impeachment process is not consistent with the Constitution and has never been done before in American history. For these reasons, I cannot support this impeachment effort.”