Stauber says he is 'disappointed' in Trump but doesn't support impeachment

Donald Trump Holds Rally In Duluth, Minnesota
President Donald Trump introduces Pete Stauber, then-Republican candidate for the U.S. House in Minnesota's 8th District, in Duluth, Minn., in June 2018.
Scott Olson | Getty Images 2018

Minnesota Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber says he wants to move forward and heal the nation after this week’s violent storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

On MPR News Friday, Stauber called the attack “unacceptable,” saying Trump bears some responsibility for his heated rhetoric ahead of the incident. But the Republican congressman stressed that the tone of politics on both sides needs to “calm down.” 

Many Democrats have called for the House to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump over the Capitol melee. But Stauber disagreed.

“The impeachment is only going to continuously divide this country and not heal,” he said. “We need healing in this country, and I think that the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 20 will be that, and I’m going to be attending the inauguration.”

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Stauber also tried to compare the Capitol incident to last year's protests over racial injustice in Minneapolis and other cities. He said mob rule cannot be the norm.

Stauber said he was disappointed in Trump.

“The disappointment comes on his comments towards not only the Electoral College and how it can be changed, but I’m disappointed about his comments towards Vice President Pence,” Stauber said. “Vice President Pence followed the Constitution.”

Stauber and fellow Minnesota U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer did not join more than 100 other House Republicans and vote to support objections to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Reps. Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach did back the Republican objections. 

Tim Pawlenty, a Republican who served two terms as Minnesota’s governor, told MPR News earlier Friday that the Electoral College certification challenges were “pathetic” because courts had dismissed allegations of fraud and said lawmakers who supported the objections should have known better.

He stopped short of criticizing Fischbach, saying he hadn’t spoken to her. 

Fischbach, Emmer and Hagedorn did not accepted invitations for interviews from MPR News.