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Rep. Moore votes against impeachment, says censure an option

Businessman Blake Moore, speaks during the 1st Congressional District Republican debate at the PBS Utah studios in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Credit: Rick Egan

SALT LAKE CITY — Imagine starting a new job. You’re barely a week into the position, still learning the ropes. Then, within seven days of starting, you are inside the U.S. Capitol when violent protesters storm the House chambers. Five people die because of the siege. Next, you have to vote on whether or not to impeach the sitting president on a charge of “incitement of insurrection.” 

That was the reality for Utah Republican Congressman Blake Moore

Moore was sworn in last Sunday. He endured a violent protest where he had to shelter in place last Wednesday. And he voted against the impeachment of President Trump today. 

“It’s been a long week,” Moore somberly responded when asked on KSL NewsRadio’s Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry how he was doing.

He explained tensions were already high when he took office. Members of the Republican party planned to reject electoral college votes in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. Two Utah congressmen, Rep. Burgess Owens, and Rep. Chris Stewart, also Republicans, objected to approving some of the electoral votes, despite the violent protest hours prior.

And then, he had to decide if the president should be removed from office. 

“It’s been a big burden. There’s been plenty of anxiety, and just trying to understand how to sift through it all,” said Moore. 

Moore votes against impeachment: ‘I will maintain objectivity’ 

Moore said he understood how impeachment could become emotionally charged. 

“Wednesday … there was some question of my wife and kids’ safety, even though it was an abundance of caution,” Moore said. “There was a moment of that, like, [I] lived through this and [it] could easily become an emotional decision.”

But he said he took a step back and attempted to evaluate his position on the president’s impeachment as objectively as possible.

“I believe that objectivity ruled my decision making last week where I voted against the majority of my party, not to strip the electoral vote,” explained Moore. “That’s a high bar for me. Impeachment is equally a high bar.” 

Related content: Rep. Curtis supports impeachment process, but not hurried timeline

Instead of impeachment, Moore joined a relatively small group of lawmakers to introduce legislation that would censure President Trump.

“When I saw that censure [was] written, I believed in those words,” said Moore. “I don’t know what ultimate consequences it has. But reading it, I at least wanted to have my name associated with that.”

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, is also part of the group. 

“I just care that my voters in the first district know that I will maintain objectivity,” said Moore.