Ten Republican members of the House of Representatives joined Democrats in impeaching Trump on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection” related to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Donald Trump impeached for the 2nd time
It marked a stark contrast to the first time Trump was impeached in December 2019 over the Ukraine scandal, which was not supported by a single House Republican — suggesting the storming of the Capitol proved a bridge too far for members of Trump’s party.
Here’s a look at the Republicans who voted to impeach, and what they had to say about it.
Rep. Liz Cheney
Cheney is the third most powerful Republican in the House, serving as the party’s conference chair, and the senior-most Republican to vote to impeach Trump.
The Wyoming representative said on Tuesday that she would support the Democrats’ motion, laying blame for the Capitol riot squarely at Trump’s feet.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” she said in a statement.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Cheney, the daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, faced immediate blowback after announcing her decision, but said she would not bow to pressure to resign her House seat that she’s held since 2017.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she told reporters earlier Wednesday.
Rep. Tom Rice
The South Carolina congressman had said earlier this week that he did not support impeachment, only to reverse his position by the time of the vote.
Rice said on Wednesday that while he doesn’t know if Trump specifically incited the riot that followed on Jan. 6, but criticized the president’s actions amid the violence.
“For hours while the riot continued, the President communicated only on Twitter and offered only weak requests for restraint,” he said in a statement, while criticizing Trump’s continued refusal to offer condolences or contrition for his actions.
“I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable.”
Rep. John Katko
Katko, who represents New York’s 24th congressional district, said Tuesday that the need to hold Trump accountable outweighed his Republican colleagues’ arguments that impeachment would only further divide the country.
“To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action,” he said in a statement.
Katko said Trump “encouraged this insurrection” on social media and in his speech that day, and did nothing to stop the violence once it grew out of control.
“By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement, and division,” he said.
Rep. Fred Upton
The Michigan congressman said in a statement on Tuesday that he took issue with Trump’s comments that same day that his speech was “totally appropriate,” saying it sends the “wrong message” following the Capitol siege.
Although Upton said he would have preferred a formal censure of Trump’s actions rather than impeachment, “it is time to say: Enough is enough.”
“The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next,” he said. “Thus, I will vote to impeach.”
Rep. Dan Newhouse
Newhouse on Wednesday took aim at Republicans who would continue to back Trump despite his actions last week and in the days that followed.
“A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction,” the Washington state representative said in his statement.
“Our country needed a leader, and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.”
Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler
Another Washington representative, Herrera Beutler, on Wednesday detailed Trump’s middling response to the riot — including his attacks on Vice-President Mike Pence while Pence was hiding from the mob inside the Capitol and Trump’s ignoring of Republican pleas to forcefully condemn the violence.
“The President’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have,” she said in a statement.
“I understand the argument that the best course is not to further inflame the country or alienate Republican voters. But I am a Republican voter.
— Jaime Herrera Beutler (@HerreraBeutler) January 13, 2021
Rep. David Valadao
Valadao said after the impeachment vote that he had no choice but to “go with my gut and vote my conscience” while criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for turning the process into a “rushed political stunt.”
“President Trump was, without question, a driving force in the catastrophic events that took place on January 6 by encouraging masses of rioters to incite violence on elected officials, staff members, and our representative democracy as a whole,” the California congressman said in a statement.
“His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.”
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
The Ohio representative said Wednesday he came to the conclusion that Trump “helped organize and incite a mob” after consulting with law enforcement and watching footage of the protest and resulting riot.
“When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the President’s lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez also noted that Trump “abandoned his post while many (Congress) members asked for help, thus further endangering all present.”
See my full statement on impeachment below. pic.twitter.com/pBBYRI2RUP
— Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (@RepAGonzalez) January 13, 2021
Rep. Peter Meijer
In his statement, the Michigan congressman highlighted the courage of Pence and other lawmakers who remained at the Capitol and helped each other during the riot, later returning to finish the Electoral College count that it interrupted.
“There was no such courage from our President who betrayed and misled millions with claims of a ‘stolen election’ and encouraged loyalists that ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country any more,'” Meijer said, adding Trump “shrank from leadership when our country needed it most.”
“With the facts at hand, I believe the article of impeachment to be accurate. The President betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the violent acts of insurrection last week.”
President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week. With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump. pic.twitter.com/SREfFp0nd2
— Rep. Peter Meijer (@RepMeijer) January 13, 2021
Rep. Adam Kinzinger
Kinzinger has been a vocal critic of Trump’s falsehoods about the election long before the Jan. 6 riot, and has called on the president to resign or be removed through the 25th Amendment.
The Illinois representative was among the first Republicans to announce support for impeachment, saying in a statement that there is “no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”
“So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions — the (executive) branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the (legislative) branch — are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?”
Kinzinger wrote on Twitter after the vote that while it was “sobering,” he cast his vote “confidently” and is “at peace.”
It was a sobering moment to vote in support of impeachment today; to walk over to the U.S. Capitol, our symbol of democracy, and recall the violent insurrection we witnessed here just one week ago. This is not a vote I took lightly, but a vote I took confidently. I'm at peace.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 13, 2021
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.