3 lawmakers miss historic impeachment votes

Political News

FILE – In this Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, file photo, California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter speaks after leaving federal court in San Diego. Hunter had long dismissed the charges as a politically motivated conspiracy to drive him from office. In an abrupt turnaround Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiring with his wife to illegally use at least $150,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses, including for his daughter’s birthday party at a posh hotel and an outing with friends at a French bistro. Rep. Hunter will resign after the holidays, after pleading guilty this week to illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses, his office disclosed Friday, Dec. 6. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Three lawmakers — Republican Reps. John Shimkus of Illinois and Duncan Hunter of California and Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano of New York — missed the historic House votes to impeach President Donald Trump.

Hunter, who pleaded guilty to illegally using campaign money for personal expenses, was warned by the House Ethics Committee not to vote again, citing legislative rulesthat block those convicted of a serious crime from voting on the House floor.Shimkus, who is not seeking reelection, was on a long-planned trip to visit his son in Tanzania, where he’s serving in the Peace Corps.

Serrano, who also is retiring, has Parkinson’s disease and suffered a recent health setback.

A fourth lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, voted present on both articles of impeachment. The Democratic presidential candidate has opposed impeachment and instead has called for presidential censure.

Shimkus, in his 12th term representing eastern Illinois, issued a statement before the vote explaining his absence.

He said he opposed impeachment and informed Trump last week that he would miss the votes. “He was supportive of me visiting my son,” Shimkus said of the president.

Hunter, in his sixth term representing the San Diego area, has said he will resign after the holidays but has not provided a specific date for his departure.

Serrano, in his 16th term representing New York City, has said he supports impeachment.

The House voted Wednesday night to impeach Trump, making him only the third chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The House voted 230-197 to approve a charge that Trump abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation, by a 229-198.

Shimkus said he was “disappointed to miss these votes but not embarrassed. I’m embarrassed that they are even happening.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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