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McKinley pushes unity following insurrection, not interested in removing Trump from office


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., said while President Donald Trump’s actions leading up to last Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol were wrong, a move to impeach him would further damage a country still shaken by the riot.

McKinley, speaking last week on “MetroNews Talkline,” said an effort to remove Trump from office would only grow the anger from violent protesters storming the Capitol.

“We see the end date,” he said. “It’s on Jan. 20. A new president, Joe Biden, will be sworn into office. To go through this — to keep this wound open for 10, 11 days — I don’t think it would be productive.”

The mob, which included recently-resigned state Delegate Derrick Evans, halted Congress’ certification of the presidential election results and forced lawmakers and staff to evacuate.

Trump sent tweets directing the protesters to go home. He also shared his support for the demonstrators in addition to unproven claims that widespread voter fraud cost him the election.

Twitter banned Trump from their platform Friday evening, stating tweets from the president that day could be interpreted as calls to incite violence closer to Inauguration Day.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., informed Democratic colleagues on Sunday the House will try to pass a resolution encouraging Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinent to remove Trump through the 25th Amendment. The House will also move forward with articles of impeachment if necessary.

“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” Pelosi wrote in a letter dated Sunday. “As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”

McKinley — who called last week’s demonstration “an ugly time in American history” — said it is time for the country to move past Trump and unite.

“This just feeds into it, so no, I don’t support that,” he said of efforts to remove Trump from office. “I hope that we can just let things calm down as quickly as we can because he is going out of office.”

McKinley said Trump is responsible for causing the violent demonstration at the Capitol but stressed other people deserve blame for growing tensions leading up to last Wednesday, noting congressional colleagues, online platforms and “the media.”

“All of these people contributed as they kept the edge on the presidency for the last four years. It never stopped. They wanted to impeach him before they came into office. Before he was even sworn in, they were already calling for his impeachment,” McKinley said.

“But his remarks on the day of, that was uncalled for. That was not necessary. I’ve got to believe in my heart that he did not intend for someone to break into our Capitol building. I don’t think that’s what he intended, but he stirred up a crowd.”

“It was a small percentage, but it was a damaging percentage,” the congressman added. “It was one that put a stain on this part of history.”

McKinley did not object to any state electoral votes during the certification proceedings; he said he has questions about the election processes of some states, but Congress does not have the authority to reject certified results.

“They have to understand if we allow that to happen — if that’s going to take hold in our society, that Congress can override a state’s election — what happens when someone doesn’t like a West Virginia outcome, and California moves to throw out West Virginia’s election?” he said.

Reps. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., and Carol Miller, R-W.Va., voted to object to Pennsylvania’s results, and Miller supported an objection to Arizona’s vote. Mooney backed a motion objecting to the results of Nevada.