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Charlie Crist challengers Amanda Makki, Anna Paulina Luna condemn impeachment vote as ‘partisan sham’

Both Republican women see impeachment as illegitimate.

Two Republicans seeking to oust Charlie Crist from Congress used his vote to impeach President Donald Trump to blast the Democrat as a partisan tool.

Amanda Makki and Anna Paulina Luna both swiftly reacted Wednesday to the historic vote to impeach Trump, a move that made him just the third President in U.S. history to be impeached.

“To no one’s surprise, the House Democrats have voted to impeach a duly elected president. Just hours after President Trump was elected, the partisan machine in Washington went to work,” Luna wrote in an email just minutes after the House voted Wednesday night. “We’ve seen the same song and dance for 3 years. There is no proof the President committed a crime, but plenty of proof that the Democrats obstructed investigations to further this charade. “

Luna’s statement took one of two articles of impeachment approved against Trump and flipped it on Democrats. The House voted almost entirely along party lines on both articles, including that Trump had obstructed Congress by repeatedly blocking testimony from White House officials and refusing to turn over some requested documents.

But Republicans claimed during hours of debate Wednesday that it was Democrats who were obstructing the impeachment inquiry by failing to use the courts to compel blocked witnesses and for carrying out what they saw as a largely closed-door and hurried process.

“This is all part of a repeating pattern that Democrats are promoting where citizens are guilty until proven innocent. The Democrats’ partisan actions have created a stain on our nation’s history because they realize their message and agenda does not resonate with the voters of America. We will not forget the Democratic elites’ attempts to tell everyday Americans that our voices don’t matter,” Luna said about another popular Republican talking point that the impeachment process was an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2016 election.

Meanwhile, Makki stated that before members of the House even took their vote, anticipating a certain approval of articles of impeachment.

“Today the U.S. House of Representatives led by Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Crist, will vote to impeach President Trump, despite the fact the very articles being voted on include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses,” Makki wrote. “With Charlie Crist’s vote today, we see just another example of his loyalty to partisan politics, and that he is no centrist when he puts partisan impeachment ahead of the issues that matter to the people of Pinellas.”

George Buck, another Republican in the race, condemned Crist’s vote in an email Thursday.

“Shame on Charlie Crist (D) for impeaching the greatest president in our lifetime with the greatest economy in history. We will impeach Charlie on November 3rd, 2020 at the ballot box. President Trump’s team has made it clear Charlie Crist is a top target to defeat and I am confident this unsubstantiated impeachment vote has ended Charlie Crist’s weak and unimpressive career,” Buck wrote.

All but two Democrats voted in favor of both articles of impeachment. Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey voted against the articles. Both serve in districts Trump handily won in 2016. Van Drew announced earlier this month he planned to leave the Democratic Party and become a Republican. A third Democrat, Jared Golden, who also represents a district Trump won, voted against article 2, obstruction of Congress.

“We deserve a Congressperson who will fight for our jobs and security, not just doing the bidding of Nancy Pelosi and the Squad,” Makki wrote, referring to four progressive Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. “The Senate should now work quickly to dismiss these unfounded and baseless claims against our President, so Congress can resume the business we elected them to do.”

Impeachment does not mean Trump is removed from office. That issue now heads to the Senate for a trial where the Republican-led body will determine Trump’s fate.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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