Why these Republicans voted to impeach President Trump

The House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for the second time on Wednesday, a week after his inflammatory rhetoric prompted a crowd that stormed the Capitol.

The impeachment article passed in the Democrat-controlled House accused Trump of “inciting insurgency,” accusing the president of encouraging his supporters to attack the Capitol during a rally last week. Moments after his speech, thousands of supporters flooded the building as Congress gathered to certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. Five died in the chaos, a Capitol Police officer who was attacked by mobs, and dozens more were injured.

Wednesday’s vote made Trump the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice and exposed the growing rift between the president and the Republican Party. At least 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump – while not a single Republican broke with the president when he was first impeached in December 2019.

Here are the Republicans who supported impeachment.

Representative John Katko (R-NY)

The first House Republican to publicly declare that he would join at least 218 Democrats in signing the impeachment resolution, Katko said he felt compelled to stand up for the Constitution, regardless of political party. The lawmaker said he saw the question of whether to impeach Trump through the prism of his former prosecutor, looking at the about what happened on Capitol and the president’s decision to promote ” baseless theories suggesting that the election was somehow stolen ”.

“Allowing the President of the United States to incite this inconsequential attack is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said in a statement. “For this reason, I cannot stand idly by. I will vote to remove this president.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY)

The third-ranked House Republican said on Tuesday she would vote to impeach Trump for his role in the deadly riot, a move her colleagues are now calling for her ousting. In a statement, she called the president’s inflammatory remarks which incited the “violent crowd” who tried “to hinder the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes.”

“What we know now is enough. The President of the United States called that crowd together, gathered the crowd, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his fault, ”Cheney 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. I will vote to remove the president. “

Several Freedom Caucus members circulated a petition on Wednesday to force a special conference to debate whether or not to ask Cheney to resign from his post.

Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)

Tuesday, Kinzinger said he would join his fellow Republican by voting to impeach the president after watching Trump encourage “an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes” and break his oath of office.

“He used his position in the executive to attack the legislature. So, in assessing the articles of indictment before the Chamber, I must consider: whether these actions – the section of Article II inciting a deadly insurgency against the branch of Article I – are not worthy of impeachment in indictment, then what is an attackable offense? Kinzinger said. “I will vote for impeachment.”

Representative Fred Upton (R-MI)

The longtime legislator said Tuesday he would vote for impeachment after seeing Trump call his rhetoric last week “entirely appropriate” and express no regrets about his possible role in the violent insurgency. Upton said lack of self-awareness was sending “exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic tenets” and vowed to stand up for the Constitution. “By removing the president,” he added, “it sends a clear message that America” ​​cannot and will not tolerate any effort on the part of a president to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from president to president. ‘other.”

“I would have preferred a bipartite and formal censorship rather than a long process of impeachment”, he added. “I’m concerned that this now interferes with important legislative matters and a new Biden administration. But it is time to say: enough is enough.

Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA)

The first Republican to speak in the House in favor of impeachment, Newhouse said the proceedings marked a “sad day in our republic” but not as moving as the violence of last week. Blaming both sides of the aisle for the violence, he said his colleagues had failed not to condemn the riots over the past year.

He said the articles of impeachment “are flawed… But I will not use the process as an excuse. There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions. The President has taken an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

He continued, “Last week there was a domestic threat at the Capitol gate, and he did nothing to stop it. That is why, with a heavy heart and a clear determination, I will vote yes on these articles of impeachment.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)

After announcing her intention to vote to impeach Trump, Beutler said in her House speech that she was standing up “against our enemy” – fear – instead of towing a party line. Arguing that fear has ruled what Americans want to hear and “haunts us in silence and inaction,” she said she would vote to impeach because “the truth sets us free from fear.”

“The truth does not guarantee that bad things will not happen, but it does promise to always prevail in the end. There are no shadows where the darkness can hide. We could use that, ”Beutler said, adding that she was not afraid of losing her job. “My vote to remove our incumbent president is not a decision based on fear. I do not choose a side. I choose the truth. This is the only way to overcome fear.

Representative Peter Meijer (R-MI)

The first year congressman revealed his decision to impeach Trump on Wednesday afternoon, claiming the outgoing president broke his oath by “fooling millions” with his “stolen election allegations.” Meijer added that he was shocked by the president’s refusal to take responsibility for his rhetoric and actions – and it is his job to apply his best judgment and vote to impeach despite the division “this vote will result in “.

“This vote is not a victory. This is not a victory for my party and it is not the victory Democrats might think it is. I am not sure this is a victory for our country. But it’s a call to for us to reflect on these events and look for ways to correct them, ”said Meijer. “With a heavy heart, I will vote to remove President Donald J. Trump.”

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