WASHINGTON -- Georgia’s delegation broke along party lines, as expected, in voting to impeach President Donald Trump.
All five Democrats sided with their party members in signing off on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Meanwhile, every Republican member of Congress including the nine from Georgia voted “no.”
Democrats held onto their majority with few defections, causing Trump to become the third U.S. president to be impeached.
U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath said afterward that she took no joy in supporting charges against Trump. She said members of the House can now refocus on policy after rebuking the president for what she believes were violations of his oath of office.
“God must truly be grieved by what is happening here, and our constituents deserve better,” McBath, who lives in Marietta, said. “I pray that we will be healed -- our land will be healed -- at some point.”
Trump’s impeachment now sets up a January trial in the Senate, where Republicans who control that Chamber are unlikely to convict him of charges. That includes Georgia’s Kelly Loeffler, who will be sworn in after the new year and said she does not support impeachment.
The House spent most of Wednesday in debate on impeachment, including comments by U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk that caught lots of attention on social media. He compared Trump to Jesus Christ and impeachment to crucifixion.
“During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded the president in this process,” the Republican from Cassville said.
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins managed the flow of Republicans speaking during their allotted three hours for debate, which gave him numerous opportunities to tangle with Democrats.
One of those instances came after comments by U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Lithonia, who said without impeachment Trump could be empowered to undermine elections in 2020.
“I urge you to come down to Georgia, find a black man or woman of a certain age and they’ll tell you the danger is real,” he said. “All they’ll tell you of brave Americans -- patriots -- willing to risk far more than a political career who marched and struggled and sometimes died so that we could have fair and free elections.”
Collins, who lives in Gainesville, responded that he was glad Johnson mentioned elections in Georgia where voter turnout among minorities has increased in recent years.
Johnson didn’t like that characterization and yelled out that he wanted time to respond, but Collins wouldn’t allow it.
U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, a Republican from West Point, accused Democrats of trying to overturn the outcome of the 2016 election by attempting to remove Trump from office.
“How dare you, the liberal elites, the condescending bureaucrats, and every other kind of swamp critter in this god-forsaken place, tell the American public who the president should be?" Ferguson said in debate. “That's the job of the American voter, not yours. This whole flipping goat-rodeo is a sham and a shame, and it will not be forgotten."
How Georgia House members voted:
“Yes” on both impeachment charges (all Democrats)
Rep. Sanford Bishop
Rep. Hank Johnson
Rep. John Lewis
Rep. Lucy McBath
Rep. David Scott
“No” on both impeachment charges (all Republicans)
Rep. Rick Allen
Rep. Buddy Carter
Rep. Doug Collins
Rep. Drew Ferguson
Rep. Tom Graves
Rep. Jody Hice
Rep. Barry Loudermilk
Rep. Austin Scott
Rep. Rob Woodall