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In a ‘Deeply Sad Day,’ Spanberger Votes to Impeach Trump

Abigail Spanberger speaks at a rally
Spanberger speaks at a rally for former presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke in April (Craig Carper/VPM News)

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger voted on Wednesday in favor of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, saying he put self-interest ahead of the good of the country.

It was a notable day not just for Trump and for Congress, but in Spanberger’s reelection campaign in a district voted for Trump in 2016. 

Spanberger said she didn’t go to Washington to impeach the president, and called the vote “a deeply sad day.” But the former CIA operative said her constituents will understand her reasoning.

“When people went to the polls in 2016, no one had any idea that he would demonstrate this type of abuse of power and endeavor to obstruct Congress’s Constitutional responsibility of oversight,” she said. 

All of Virginia’s House Democrats voted in favor of impeachment, and all of the Republicans voted against it. 

That includes 5th District Congressman Denver Riggleman, who made a floor speech on impeachment. Invoking Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who lived in his district, Riggleman said the former presidents would be unhappy to watch Congress “subverting the will of democracy.” 

“I was not elected to take votes that overturn the will of the American people,” Riggleman said.

Trump Tweeted his "total support" for Riggleman, who is facing a primary challenger, on Tuesday.

The American Action Network, a conservative group, spent $8.5 million in TV and digital ads attacking Spanberger and other Democrats in swing districts ahead of the vote. The group announced it will spend another $2.5 million in ads after the vote in several districts, including that of Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria.

Luria, who flipped her Hampton Roads-area seat in 2018, also voted for the articles of impeachment.

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Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.
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