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Here's how Louisiana's congressmen voted on President Trump's second impeachment

Greg Hilburn
Monroe News-Star
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise

All four of Louisiana's Republican House members on Wednesday voted against impeaching GOP President Donald Trump a second time, while the state's lone Democrat Cedric Richmond voted to impose Congress' greatest penalty on a president.

The full House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection in a deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as the president's supporters tried to stop Congress from affirming President-elect Joe Biden's certified Electoral College victory.

Ten Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to impeach, but none from Louisiana broke ranks. Trump won Louisiana with more than 58% in the Nov. 3 election.

Scalise and Richmond were the only members of the Louisiana delegation to speak from the floor during Wednesday's debate.

The U.S. Senate will next conduct an impeachment trial, though it's unlikely to begin before Trump leaves office on Jan. 20.

Republican Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Metairie made the closing argument for those opposing Trump's impeachment, saying, "It will only serve to further divide a nation that is calling out for healing."

It was a theme Louisiana's Republican House members followed throughout the day, condemning the violent Jan. 6 riot but arguing impeachment would create more division in America.

"The shameful violence that occurred on the Capitol grounds Jan. 6 demands a strong, unified Congressional response," Republican Congressman Mike Johnson of Benton said in a statement. "This rushed, snap impeachment effort is the opposite of that. It involved no regular order or thoughtful deliberation, and is not helping to heal and unify our country — but further divide it.

“As President Trump himself has acknowledged, Joe Biden is the president-elect, and what America needs right now is an orderly and peaceful transfer of the immense power of the presidency from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. Launching impeachment articles at this point is not in the best interests of the nation.”

Republican Acadiana Congressmen Clay Higgins said in a statement: "These are acts of political vengeance and only serve to further divide our country.”

Baton Rouge Republican Congressman Garret Graves also voted against impeachment, but hadn't issued a statement Wednesday.

Louisiana's 5th Congressional District seat is vacant following the death of Republican Congressman-elect Luke Letlow before he could be seated.

Richmond, who is leaving his seat on Jan. 17 to become Biden's director of the White House's Office of Public Engagement, made his final floor speech, saying Democrats warned Trump could be dangerous. "We told you so," he said. "Richmond out."

"Some of my colleagues ... suggest we shouldn't punish Trump for his actions in order to unify the country," Richmond said. "That is the climax of foolishness. Let me suggest to them: Stand up, man up, woman up and defend this constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic including Donald J. Trump."

In his closing argument, Scalise urged calm.

"Emotions are still high, but at this moment we need to be focused on toning down the rhetoric ... as we turn toward a peaceful transition of power," he said.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.