U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, voted “no” on impeachment Wednesday and explained his vote to the PBS NewsHour.
“I'll be voting against impeachment, and to be clear, I'm frustrated with the president,” Johnson said. “I think many of his actions, many of his words in recent weeks, have not been helpful. They have made the situation worse, not better. Much of that action has not been particularly presidential.
“But I think we need to keep in mind our top three priorities right now: number one, keep the peace over the next seven days; number two, bring this country together; and number three, hold people accountable while maintaining their due process rights. A snap impeachment goes 0-for-3 on those criteria.”
Johnson said the most likely place to hold the president accountable for the Capitol riot is in a court of law.
“Of course, that's a perfectly normal area for most of us to be held accountable, and I think there’ll be a number of proceedings in the years to come where the president is going to have to answer for some of this, as well as other issues unrelated to last week,” Johnson said.
Last week, Johnson voted to certify Joe Biden as the president-elect. Johnson said that vote inspired right-wing extremists to make a threat on his life.
“I suspect my impeachment vote today will be very unpopular with some on the left,” Johnson said. “The reality is I think not just me, but all of my colleagues, we need to acknowledge that we may well be in danger, but we still need to do our jobs.”
The House passed the articles of impeachment by a vote of 232-197. The Senate will now decide whether to convict and remove the president from office.
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