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Zac Shepherd (left), president of Heritage Oak, in May gives Rep. Billy Long a tour of the Heritage Oak factory. Globe | Roger Nomer

Members of Congress from the Four-States Area called Thursday's resolution authorizing going forward with impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump a "sham" that sets a "dangerous precedent."

The House voted 232-196 in favor of the resolution, which also laid out rules for the process as it unfolds.

Shortly after the vote, U.S. Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., tweeted that it’s a "scary day for our nation — and not just because it's Halloween."

“The impeachment resolution that passed today does nothing to promote transparency or fairness, and it sets a dangerous precedent for this chamber," Long said in a statement to the Globe. "Rather than holding Chairman (Adam) Schiff accountable, Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi has given him free rein; if that's doesn't scare you, it should. ... This is the first time in modern history that an impeachment inquiry vote hasn't had bipartisan support and for good reason. Make no mistake: For Democrats, this isn't about fairness, this is about overturning the results of the 2016 election and removing a duly-elected president from office by any means necessary.”

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., in a statement to the paper, reiterated a common word used by other GOP members of the House, calling the impeachment proceedings and the vote "a sham."

“We cannot allow Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Adam Schiff to legitimize this tainted process,” Hartzler said in a statement. “They have spent the past five weeks holding secret meetings, not allowing Republicans to call in witnesses and have barred the majority of members of Congress from access to materials collected during these hearings.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins, R-Kansas, said House Democrats are using the hearings to boost their chances in the 2020 election, having been unable to come to terms with the results of the 2016 election.

“Speaker Pelosi continues to carry out Soviet-style meetings in Schiff’s secret bunker,” Watkins said in a statement. “This resolution is about unilateral control and further proves this entire process has been a sham from the start. As one of the few members allowed in Schiff's secret bunker, I will continue to push back against this illegitimate, entirely-partisan, impeachment witch hunt.”

U.S. Rep, Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, also criticized the vote in a statement. He will be in Ottawa County from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the Miami Chamber of Commerce, 11 S. Main St., to meet with the public. He also will be making stops in other counties in his district.

“This resolution ... does not make all hearings, transcripts and depositions open to the public, and does not give due process to our duly elected president,” Mullin said in a statement. “From the start, the impeachment inquiry has been an attempt to undo the last election, and this resolution doesn’t change that.”

Last week, several dozen GOP House members, including Hartzler, Watkins and Mullin, demanded access to a closed-door deposition with a Defense Department official, calling for more "transparency." Democrats said the move compromised national security because some of the Republicans took electronic devices into a secure room. Democrats also said some of the Republicans weren't authorized to attend the hearings because they did not serve on any of the committees involved. Republicans who serve on the Intelligence, Oversight and Judiciary committees are allowed in the hearings. 

Pelosi decided to hold the vote following weeks of GOP claims that the inquiry was invalid because the chamber had not voted to formally commence the work. Democrats also noted there is no constitutional provision or House rule requiring such a vote. Democrats spoke of lawmakers' duty to defend the Constitution.

"What is at stake in all this is nothing less than our democracy," said Pelosi, D-Calif.

Democrats also said the rules are similar to those used during the impeachment proceedings of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. 

It is likely to take weeks or more before the House decides whether to vote on actually impeaching Trump. If the House does vote for impeachment, the Senate would hold a trial to decide whether to remove the president from office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

News reporter

Kimberly Barker is a news reporter for The Globe who covers Northeast Oklahoma, Southeast Kansas, as well as Carl Junction and Webb City.

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