Both of Maine’s representatives to the U.S. House voted in favor of the article of impeachment Wednesday, helping make Donald Trump the first president in the nation’s history to be impeached twice.

The measure passed 232 to 197 with all Democrats and 10 Republicans voting in favor one week after the president incited a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol building in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, only a small number of members were on the House floor at any one time, including when it became clear the measure would pass, making the mood sedate.

Maine Democratic Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree

“As much as anything, I think people are happy to have the vote taken and to put that behind us so we can move on; the next time we cast votes in the House of Representatives we will have a new president,” Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, told the Press Herald minutes after the vote. “It’s discouraging that we had to impeach a president twice and discouraging that we had to do this in the final days of any presidency.”

“It speaks to the magnitude of what he did last week, what he did to discredit the election, telling lies and sowing doubt about the validity of the vote,” Pingree added.

Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd District, was not available for an interview, his spokesman said.

Golden released a statement Wednesday evening that said: “I have no doubt that the president bears responsibility for last week’s assault on the United States Capitol, and I don’t believe there has ever been a clearer case for impeachment, removal from office, and disqualification from holding future public office. This was not a complex debate – last Wednesday’s assault upon the nation and our democracy played out in broad daylight, in front of the entire nation. It was ugly and violent, and those responsible for the violence are guilty of a dark and bitter betrayal of the country.”

He added: “Many of my colleagues who voted against today’s articles of impeachment know these things to be true, but have willfully looked the other way for a variety of political considerations.”

The article of impeachment charges Trump with violating his oath of office by inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection against Congress. The four-page impeachment resolution states that he “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government … threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of government.”

It says that by his conduct Trump “has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”

Earlier Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, told MSNBC the article would be transmitted promptly to the Senate for a trial. “There is no reason why we can’t send it this week,” said Hoyer, the highest-ranking House Democrat after Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We intend to do that.”

Under the Constitution, the Senate – which remains under Republican control until Georgia’s newly elected senators are sworn in later this month – must hold a trial to decide whether to remove Trump from office.

Conviction requires a two-thirds majority, which means 16 Republicans would have to join their Democratic colleagues for the measure to pass. To date, two have said they want Trump removed – Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania – but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska have signaled they also might vote for it.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the only remaining Republican in New England’s congressional delegation, has said she will not comment on impeachment matters because of her role as a “juror” in the Senate trial. Her staff affirmed Wednesday that her position had not changed.

On Tuesday, Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, came out strongly in favor of Trump’s immediate removal by impeachment, resignation or the invocation of the 25th Amendment.

King said the Jan. 6 events made it “more clear than ever that President Trump poses a danger to the Republic, and that if he is allowed to remain in office for the next eight days, this intemperate and impulsive person could use his powers in ways that further jeopardize our national security and the safety of the American people.”

King’s spokesman said the senator did not have anything new to add in the wake of the House’s impeachment vote.

It looks increasingly unlikely the Senate trial will conclude prior to Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in. McConnell indicated Wednesday that he would not reconvene the Senate to consider the measure before Jan. 19.

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