Impeachment vote

No one should be surprised how Wisconsin’s members of Congress voted on the rules for impeachment proceedings for President Donald Trump.

The state’s three Democrats – Reps. Mark Pocan, Ron Kind and Gwen Moore – all voted for the rules. Wisconsin’s four Republicans – Reps. Bryan Steil, Jim Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman and Mike Gallagher – all voted against them. 

Moore, who has long been a vocal supporter of impeachment, said after Thursday's vote that she didn't come to Congress to impeach a president.

"I will never shirk from my responsibilities to uphold the Constitution and defend our democracy," Moore said. "I voted for [the] measure today to formalize the next steps in the ongoing impeachment inquiry that supports a transparent investigation."

Moore said she hopes the impeachment hearings will allow the American people to see the evidence that she thinks is there to remove the president from office. 

Sensenbrenner, who is Wisconsin's longest-serving member of Congress, is saying almost the opposite. 

“An unfair process can only lead to an unfair result, and this entire process has been fundamentally unfair to the President," Sesenbrenner said in a statement Thursday. "Yet, Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Schiff continue to rob the President of his due process rights. The rules outlined in today’s resolution fall embarrassingly short of any objective fairness and will further damage the credibility of our institution.”

Kind is approaching impeachment with a different perspective. President Trump won Kind's 3rd District in the western part of the state in 2016. Kind has been less enthusiastic than Moore or Madison's Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan. 

On Thursday, Kind said impeachment should be a "last resort." But he said he is open to impeachment hearings. 

"I believe that it is imperative for the House to uncover all of the facts and evidence so that an appropriate remedy can be determined," Kind said. "The House took steps necessary to move forward with the investigation in a manner that will make testimony and facts public and give the President the opportunity to defend his actions."

The latest Marquette Law School poll shows that Wisconsin voters are split on impeachment along party lines as well.

Eighty-eight percent of Democrats support impeachment and removal, while 92 percent of Republicans oppose the idea. But 55 percent of independent voters in Wisconsin do not think there is enough evidence to impeach and remove Trump from office.

Staff Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.