North Texas representatives voted along party lines on the second impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Local U.S. House Republicans who voted were against the measure while all of the North Texas Democrats were for impeaching Trump. The final count was 232 to 197 in favor of the single article of impeachment on "incitement of insurrection."
The vote took place one week after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol after encouragement from Trump at a rally, attacking police officers and damaging property.
"We had one of the worst attacks on our democracy in the history of our country," said Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas)
Republican representatives Michael Burgess, Van Taylor, Beth Van Duyne and Pat Fallon all voted no. Democrats Marc Veasey, Eddie Bernice Johnson and Colin Allred all voted yes.
"There has to be accountability for that. The president lied about what happened in the election, he lied to his supporters saying it was stolen, he called on them to come to Washington DC and to attack the capitol. That is unacceptable in a democracy, it is inciting an insurrection," Allred said.
House Democrats say the deadly events of January 6 and comments from Trump led them to file the article of impeachment.
"We had a capitol police officer who was brutally beaten and killed, we had one who is likely going to lose an eye, we have others who may have brain damage from being hit in the head with metal pipes," Allred said.
MORE: Capitol Riot coverage
Many Republicans called it a double standard to say the president’s words incited violence, comparing it to forceful language used by Democrats during the social justice protests last summer. Others called the move to impeach rushed.
"Families are tragically losing loved ones to the coronavirus. Instead of creating or even saving American jobs or negotiating additional COVID relief we are debating an impeachment that's been presented by no inquiry, no meaningful debate and no due process," said freshman Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Irving).
"It was foreseeable and reckless to sow such a false belief that could lead to violence and rioting by loyal supporters whipped into frenzy," said Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin). "Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues drafted articles that I believe are flawed and unsupportable, focusing on the legal terms of incitement and insurrection."
Democrats, like Arlington’s Marc Veasey, said the vote was not about playing politics.
"I don't care about no base, I care about this democracy and this country and what happened the other day should never happen again and we need to stand up and do the right thing," Veasey said.
A handful of Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump for a second time, with a week left in his term. But no North Texas Republicans joined them, although Burgess (R-Denton) did condemn the actions of the mob.
"What happened on the grounds of the capitol absolutely must never happen again," said Burgess.
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) was one of four members in the entire House who did not vote on impeachment.
With the article of impeachment signed, it now heads to the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that a trial could not be finished before President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday.
It’s unlikely a trial will begin until sometime next week.
But perhaps, more notably, McConnell told Senate Republicans: "While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote."
In addition to removal from office, the constitution allows the senate to bar Mr. Trump from running for office again.
Stripped of his social media accounts, the president released a recorded video through the official White House accounts hours after impeachment. He didn’t address his impeachment. Instead, he condemned violence.
"No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence," he said. "No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag."