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Rep. Joyce speaks out before vote

U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District, was among the congressmen speaking out Wednesday against impeaching President Donald Trump.

“It’s a dark day. It will leave a lasting impact on the institution,” Joyce said Wednesday in a phone interview before his speech. “I’m a fighter. I’m not afraid of this battle.”

The articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump passed largely along party lines Wednesday evening.

Now the matter goes to the Senate, where Joyce believes Trump will not be convicted and removed from office, which would require a two-thirds vote by the Senate.

Joyce said the impeachment process has been unfair and not transparent, a waste of taxpayer money and waste congressional time.

“It is my prayer that people understand how we’ve tied up government with this,” he said. “The important thing is that we realize Americans want a fair and transparent process, this impeachment process has not been that.”

When he addressed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday, he urged his fellow congressmen to vote against impeachment.

Earlier in the day he told the Mirror: “I take the charge seriously to be representative of 10 counties in central Pennsylvania. On the other side of the aisle, there is no doubt about their intentions. They’ve long and proudly boasted about their intentions to impeach the president the day he was sworn in.”

Of the articles of impeachment, he said, “It’s all based on hearsay.”

“We should be improving health care, securing the border and stopping drugs from coming into Blair County. It’s ironic, tomorrow we are voting on the trade agreement (proposed by Trump) that will help our farmers, industry throughout America. I will vote yes for that.”

The House Ways and Means Committee in a bipartisan vote recommended Trump’s proposed North American trade deal — the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement — for a full House vote.

“Democrats have been obsessed with the impeachment process,” Joyce said.

The two articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress were drafted after hearings held on Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States presidential election,” the articles of impeachment state.

The call with Zelensky was made public by an August whistleblower report against Trump. The White House then released a declassified transcript of the July 25 conversation.

Joyce said the articles of impeachment are weak and unspecific.

“There is no reason to impeach,” he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.

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