File-U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, speaks during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

(The Center Square) – Saying President Donald Trump abandoned his duties during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Ohio U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez joined nine other Republican congressmen and voted Wednesday to impeach the president.

“When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6 including the President’s lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment,” Gonzalez, a former Ohio State football player and first-round NFL draft pick, said.

Also, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Wednesday he will consider how to heal the country if the Senate moves forward with a trial.

“President-Elect [Joe] Biden has rightly said he wants to set a new tone of greater unity as his administration begins. All of us should be concerned about the polarization in our country and work toward bringing people together,” Portman said. “If the Senate conducts an impeachment trial, among my considerations will be what is best to help heal our country, rather than deepen our divisions.”

The rest of Ohio’s congressional delegation stuck to party lines, with all four Democrats voting to impeach and the other 11 Republicans voting against it.

One Ohio Republican, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, led Trump’s defense against impeachment in the House.

“In seven days there will be a peaceful transfer of power just like there has been every other time in our country, but Democrats are going to impeach President Trump, again,” Jordan said on the House floor. “This doesn’t unite the country. There is no way this helps the nation deal with the tragic and terrible events of last week that we all condemn.”

Gonzalez, though, said he thinks Trump helped both organize and inflame the group that attacked the Capitol.

“The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “In doing so, five people have died – including a Capitol Police Officer – many more have been injured and our democracy has been shaken.

“The Vice President and both chambers of Congress had their lives put in grave danger as a result of the President’s actions in the events leading up to and on January 6. During the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present. These are fundamental threats not just to people’s lives but to the very foundation of our Republic.”

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.