The fight over impeachment roughly mirrors the partisan divide in Georgia. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll in November found a majority of voters approve of the impeachment investigation but are more torn over whether he should be ousted from office.
‘What did you do?’
As the tense debate over impeachment stretched late into the evening, Democrats spoke gravely about an outcome that seemed all but inevitable, mindful that the Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to convict and remove him from office after a trial that could start in January.
"Our children and their children will ask us, 'What did you do? What did you say?'" said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta. "For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history."
Echoing Trump, Republicans decried their counterparts as power-hungry politicians eager to distract from the president’s accomplishments. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, mocked the “mob rule” rush to impeach that he said could come back to haunt Democrats.
“He is innocent, and these come nowhere close to proving it,” he said, later turning to Democrats in the chamber with a question: “What did you gain at the end by trashing the institution you claimed to love?”
McBath didn’t speak during the debate, but struck a mournful tone in an interview after the vote. She told the AJC that “God must truly be grieved by what is happening here” and prayed that the nation’s divides could be healed.
Her Republican opponent, former U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, made clear that she’ll put McBath’s vote for impeachment at the center of her comeback bid. Her campaign sent out a late-night fundraising appeal with a succinct subject line: “It happened.”
“Lucy McBath and her corrupt Democrat pals will stop at nothing to steal the 2020 election,” read Handel’s note. “Georgia supports President Trump and we will not let that happen.”