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Rep. Andy Barr reflects on voting no on impeachment, says country needs healing

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 5:08 PM EST|Updated: 19 hours ago
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - When President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time Wednesday, ten Republican representatives joined Democrats in passing that vote. Kentucky’s Andy Barr was not one of them.

“The president’s words, while unfortunate, it did not meet the definition, the legal definition of incitement,” Rep. Barr said.

He also doesn’t think it would help the country right now.

“It looks less like an effort to uphold the standards of the presidency and more like an act of political vengeance. And I just didn’t see how this was going to be a constructive path forward for bringing the country together,” Rep. Barr said.

Some lawmakers, including some Republicans, believe Trump’s claims of a stolen election led to the attack on the Capitol. And for the country to heal he needs to be held accountable.

Barr said the security failures at the Capitol need to be investigated, but ultimately, the people who directly caused the damage are to blame.

“And people need to be held accountable for their own actions. Nothing justifies violence. Whether the violence we saw in the cities this summer or the violence that we saw in the Capitol, the individuals themselves who commit those crimes who are violent protesters and violent trespassers, they are the ones who should be ultimately held accountable,” Rep. Barr said.

He says he would rather move on and get to work on other priorities, like vaccine distribution.

“And I believe very strongly that even though we’ve accelerated the approval and I give a lot of credit to the FDA and the previous administrations FDA for expediting the approval of these vaccines, that they are in fact safe and effective. I myself have received my second shot,” Rep. Barr said.

He said in the coming months, the country could use some soul-searching, as we work to come together.

“We know that there are people in this country in both the right and the left who feel disenfranchised, they’re angry, they feel left behind. They feel disrespected. And I think we need to do a lot of soul-searching, Republicans and Democrats and look at ways in which we can’t reach out to these people who feel so alienated from the institutions of our country and rebuild trust,” Rep. Barr said.

During the attack on the Capitol, Barr was in his office, until he was taken away by Capitol security to a safe location.

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