Several Ohio politicians have weighed in as the impeachment process took a historic step forward Tuesday when House Democrats announced they will bring two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
The two articles charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, setting in motion the third impeachment of a US president in history.
Tuesday's announcement sets the stage for a dramatic impeachment vote on the House floor next week, after the House Judiciary Committee debates and approves the articles beginning on Thursday.
Among those set to vote whether to move the impeachment forward are two representatives from Ohio: Tim Ryan (D) and Jim Jordan (R). Both issued statements shortly after the articles were announced.
Ryan, himself a presidential candidate for about seven months before dropping out in October, stated in a news release:
“It is sad that it has come to this. I take no joy in this process, but we cannot have a President that is above the law. If my constituents do something wrong then they face the consequences. The President used his public office and taxpayer money for personal and political gain. That is wrong, and he must be held accountable.”
Jordan, a ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and a prominent presence in several impeachment hearings to date, tweeted out his statement:
The facts are on the President’s side.— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) December 10, 2019
But Democrats are moving forward because they care more about stopping the President than helping the country. https://t.co/uRmeYQNueF
If the House, in which Democrats hold a majority, votes to impeach, Trump will then be tried in the Senate, which will vote to either convict Trump and remove him from office or acquit the president of the charges against him. While Ohio’s senators, who sit on either side of the aisle, have yet to issue statements about Tuesday’s developments, they have previously spoken about where they stand on the process.
Rob Portman (R), Ohio’s junior senator, told News 5 partner the Columbus Dispatch last week that he is displeased that the president sought foreign assistance in investigating a political rival, but does not believe this conduct rises to the level of impeachment.
“From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t see the evidence that leads to an impeachable offense,” Portman said Friday.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, who explored the possibility of running for president in 2020 but ultimately decided not to, has said little publicly about impeachment in recent weeks.
On Nov. 17, as the House Intelligence Committee was hearing testimony from various witnesses, Brown told News 5 sister station WSYX in Columbus that he had not yet made up his mind about whether to convict and remove Trump.
"That oath says to do this the proper way. And the proper way is to judge based on the evidence," Brown said. "I want to hear the evidence. I want to see what the President says in his defense."
As the fast-moving process continues, News 5 will include more statements from elected officials in Ohio about where they currently stand on the impeachment of Donald Trump.