IN Focus: VP Pence, Indiana lawmakers on both sides react to historic impeachment vote

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives late Wednesday night. The impeachment is now moving toward the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shared his thoughts on the historic vote Thursday morning on the Senate floor.

“This is by far the thinnest basis for any House-passed presidential impeachment in American history,” he said. “The thinnest and the weakest. And nothing else even comes close.”

Even though the House approved two articles of impeachment on Wednesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she won’t be sending the articles to the Senate to continue the process just yet.

“When we see the process that is set forth in the Senate, then we will know the number of managers that we may have to go forward,” Pelosi said.

She didn’t say when or if she will do it anytime soon.

At the White House, it was business as usual. White House Senior Advisor for Strategy Tony Sayegh told Washington Correspondent Kellie Meyer the president can handle it and is focusing on the job he was elected to do.

“If anyone can take it, it’s him,” Sayegh said. “He feels strong, he’s very positive and he’s optimistic for the country.”

The president brought Rep. Jeff Van Drew to the White House Thursday after the New Jersey congressman announced his plans to switch parties and support the president.

President Trump also said he isn’t feeling negative effects from Wednesday’s vote.

“I don’t feel like I’m being impeached,” he said. “It’s a hoax, it’s a setup, it’s a horrible thing they did.”

In the video above, Vice President Mike Pence shared his thoughts on the impeachment process with Nexstar affiliate WLNS-TV.

"What the Democrats have done in this sham investigation, the first truly partisan impeachment in American history, is essentially overturn the results of the 2016 election," said Pence.

This past week, we also heard from several Indiana lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), who was asked about Pelosi's move to hold on the article of impeachment before sending them to the Senate.

"You probably do something like that when you feel like you've got a weak case. To me, it’s a tactic," said Braun.

"I expect to follow the lead of Speaker Pelosi," said Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). "If some Senators think our case is so weak, they should have no trouble taking up this impeachment trial quickly and fairly."

So how will a trial proceed in the Senate, once that finally takes place?

“I’ll be a conscientious United States Senator making an objective decision based on presentation of all facts,” said Sen. Todd Young (R-IN). “This is not a standard court of law. It’s neither a civil nor a criminal court. The President of the United States is not up for criminal or civil charges. Which is why impeachment exists."

“I feel that there is an obligation constitutionally that you listen to the merits of the case," said Braun. “I don’t see that there will be any new evidence because that would have happened by now."

"When a President abuses the power entrusted to them by the people, we all have a responsibility to condemn this behavior in the strongest terms to protect our Democracy," said Carson. "As this impeachment decision moves to the Senate, I urge my colleagues there to put aside partisan politics and defend our nation and its values, not a President who has disrespected both.”

“It is a political process. There’s probably not one Senator that would be seated as a juror in a regular trial because you bring that political predisposition point of view into it,” added Braun. “I don’t think though, there was anything tangible in the sense that there was no quid pro quo."

The Senate would need a two-thirds super-majority vote to remove the President.

Lawmakers are now on break for the holiday recess. They won’t have to decide what comes next until they return in January.

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