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Area lawmakers offer their perspectives on second impeachment proceedings

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer stood by his opposition to impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying he does not want to see the nation divided.

The lawmaker, whose 12th House district includes Lycoming County, said it was best if he just gave his vote and worked on behalf of the people.

“I think the vast majority of people aren’t in favor of division,” he said when asked if his constituents either favored or opposed impeachment.

Keller was also asked if he felt the President helped cause the insurrection of last week by his words.

“I am not going to continue fanning the flames. It was truly a low spot in our republic,” he said.

Keller commended law enforcement who defended the Capitol Building from violent protestors Jan. 6. He noted the National Guard personnel who have stepped up in the meantime.

Keller pointed to Trump’s statement Wednesday, calling for no violence, lawbreaking or vandalism of any kind.

Keller said he would not question the sincerity or motives of Trump’s statement.

He said Vice President Mike Pence has shown great leadership in urging people not to get caught up in further issues that divide the nation.

“We don’t come down here as Republicans or Democrats. I am an American member of Congress,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard, was not available for comment but released the following statement:

“The violence at the U.S. Capitol last week was a gruesome and senseless display, and I remain hopeful President Trump will address the nation to encourage a peaceful transition for the swearing-in of President-elect Biden on Jan. 20. Emotions are running high and this has led to an impromptu article of impeachment, something the framers of our Constitution intended to be a deliberate process.

“There has not been an investigation, there have been no hearings, and we are seven days away from a new administration assuming the lead of our government,” the statement continues. “I do not believe impeachment is the appropriate course of action at this time and remain concerned that moving forward will only further sow seeds of division across the political landscape.”

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, declined comment at this time.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionville, could not be reached for comment.

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