TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — U.S. Rep. Jim Baird (R-District 4) on Tuesday joined fellow Republican lawmakers from Indiana to vote against impeaching President Donald Trump.
Baird was also one of several Hoosier members of the U.S. House of Representatives voting last week to object to certifying election results in several key battleground states.
The vote came after Trump supporters sieged the Capitol Building on Jan. 6. Baird says he condemns the violence but stopped short of characterizing the attack as an insurrection.
"The president — I've read his remarks — did not encourage people to break into the Capitol ... To start equating this as an insurrection and all the things that people are labeling it with, is very unfortunate, I think," Baird says.
But Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody disagrees.
"That is the very definition of an insurrection when people from the citizenry break in to try to stop what the government is doing," Zody says.
Baird says he wants to investigate Trump's claims that the election was stolen. He says election officials in states like Arizona and Pennsylvania bypassed their legislatures to enact new voting rules during the pandemic.
"If they didn't follow their legislature, then I think that brings into question their process, so it was more about where we're going and what the next election is going to be like," Baird says.
But Zody says there's no evidence of voter fraud during the 2020 election.
"Over 60 times there have been court rulings saying that there was no irregularity that would overturn any result or that spoke to any larger irregularity about the election," Zody says.
Baird, an outspoken Trump supporter who represents Tippecanoe and surrounding counties, says he'd rather see Congress focus on pandemic relief for businesses instead of impeachment.
"It's time to move for those kind of things instead of wasting time of these kinds of issues," Baird says.
But Zody says impeachment sends a message that inciting violence is unacceptable.
"I don't believe there's a bigger fish to fry than the security and efficacy of our democracy," Zody says.
The FBI is warning of armed protests leading up to Inauguration Day, according to CBS News. Baird says there's no room in the political process for violence.