US POLITICS

10 Republicans Who Broke Ranks to Vote for Trump’s Impeachment

Svetlana Ekimenko

On 13 January, the US House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump a second time, charging him with “incitement of insurrection”, after accusations were levelled against him for ‘instigating’ violence after his supporters breached the US capitol on 6 January, resulting in five deaths and widespread damage.

A vote by the US House of Representatives on Wednesday made Donald Trump the first president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice, after he was blamed for engaging in high crimes and misdemeanors by “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” during the deadly riots that engulfed the Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on 6 January.

After the article of impeachment was introduced on 11 January by Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, five days after the Capitol mayhem that resulted in five deaths, the House approved the resolution to impeach Trump 232 to 197, with at least 10 Republicans breaking ranks to support ousting the president.
This was, historically, the most bipartisan impeachment vote in US history (five Democrats voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998).

Here are the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment:


1.Rep. Liz Cheney

American attorney and Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, – the House Republican Conference Chair – occupies the third-highest position in the House Republican Party (GOP) leadership.

Cheney is the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and previously held several positions in the US State Department during the George W. Bush administration.

Cheney, who has a history of being critical of Trump’s policies, sharply condemned the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, accusing Donald Trump of sparking the riot.

Cheney came under fire from other GOP leaders for her condemnation of the president, with Rep. Jim Jordan saying the House Republican Conference “should have a second vote” to remove Cheney as House GOP Conference chair.

2. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio is a US politician of Cuban-American heritage and a former professional football player; he was elected to the House of Representatives on 6 November 2018, becoming the first Latino to represent Ohio in Congress.

On 18 December 2019, Gonzalez voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump, when the president was accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden. At the time, Trump was accused of abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

Although impeached by the US House of Representatives, the US Senate subsequently voted in favour of Donald Trump. However, this time around, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez joined the handful of Republicans supporting the impeachment, saying:

“The President of the United States helped organise and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution.”

3. Rep. Jamie Herrera-Beutler 

Jaime Lynn Herrera Beutler, an American politician who is the US Representative for Washington’s 3rd congressional district, in the first impeachment of Donald Trump, on 18 December 2019, voted against both articles of impeachment, along with all other voting Republicans.

​At the time she concurred that there was inadequate proof that he engaged in obstruction of justice and abuse of power. In the second impeachment vote against Trump, initiated by the Democrats over the violent events at the Capitol, Herrera Beutler, of Vancouver, said during debate on the House floor Wednesday:

“Truth sets us free from fear… In my vote to impeach, I am choosing truth. It is the only way to defeat fear.”

After the attack, Herrera Beutler wrote on Twitter that she “was on the House floor as the protestors overran police and pounded on the doors”.

4. Rep. John Katko

John Katko, an American attorney and politician serving as the US Representative for New York’s 24th congressional district since 2015, voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump in 2019. He had endorsed Donald Trump’s reelection bid after declining to do so in 2016.

However, on 12 January 2021 became the first House Republican to announce he would vote for impeaching President Trump in the aftermath of allegations that Trump incited the ‘mob’ that attacked the capitol.

“It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection, both on social media ahead of January 6th, and in his speech that day,” the former federal prosecutor representing central New York said in a statement.

5. Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who is known as having hailed Donald Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force, on 3 January 2020, tweeting that it was a ‘nice call’, voted against the first impeachment of Donald Trump.

​However, he has since been an outspoken critic of Trump. Tweeting in December 2020 that it was time for the POTUS to delete his Twitter account, retweeting a link to a video from the White House where the president questioned the results of the 2020 election, which he claimed had been ‘rigged’ against him.

Since the chaotic events that took place at the Capital when Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win, Kinzinger has insisted that Trump “incited” the violent mob, and that the president’s actions were worthy of impeachment.

6. Rep. Peter Meijer

Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, a business analyst representing Michigan’s 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, is a member of the Meijer family that owns the Meijer hypermarket chain.

As Donald Trump tried to contest the results of the presidential elections, claiming the vote had been ‘fraudulent’, the Michigan freshman lawmaker went on record as announcing publicly that he accepted the outcome and recognized Joe Biden as president-elect.

​After the storming of the Capitol, Meijer called for Republicans to take responsibility for their “lies” about election fraud.

Meijer explained his vote on Wednesday evening to support impeaching Trump as a step toward “accountability” following the President’s response to the events at the Capitol.

7. Rep. Dan Newhouse

An agricultural scientist from Washington, currently serving as the US Representative for Washington’s 4th congressional district, Daniel Milton Newhouse served as director of the Washington Department of Agriculture and as a member of the Washington House of Representatives before being elected to Congress.

​In December 2020 Rep. Dan Newhouse was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives who signed in support of the Texas v. Pennsylvania lawsuit filed at the Supreme Court contesting the results of the presidential election, which had been called for Democrat Joe Biden.

The four-term congressman ahead of the second impeachment vote against Trump said he had taken time to contemplate his decision.

“Even though I’m a Republican and a supporter of Donald Trump – and that’s what makes this really hard – I felt that the president let us down, particularly when he knew what was going on and did not do all he could to stop the violence. I can’t condone that,” he was quoted as saying by the The Spokesman-Review.

8. Rep. Tom Rice

Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina, a steadfast supporter of the president, represents South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District.
During the first impeachment, Rice opposed both articles, saying he voted against them in a procedure that “was the culmination of three years of corrupt effort by the Democratic Party and the federal bureaucracy to discredit and remove” Trump.

The Republican, reelected to his fifth term, had opposed ousting Trump just two days before the impeachment debate. “Let’s not stoke further division,” he had told media, while acknowledging that the president had acted “recklessly”.

However, on 13 January Rice said Trump’s response to the storming of the Capitol had altered his stance.
He condemned Trump for failing to offer condolences to those who were injured in the standoff at the Capitol, and reproached the president for ‘lack of contrition’. 

9. Rep. Fred Upton

Republican Fred Upton, serving as the US Representative for Michigan’s 6th congressional district since 1987, is known as the first and only Representative to have voted in favour of impeachment of two US presidents.

He supported the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 and of Donald Trump during the latter’s second impeachment vote.

​In a statement, he deplored Trump’s ‘inflammatory’ rhetoric at the rally on the day of the Capitol events, and underscored that Congress ‘must hold President Trump to account’.

10. Rep. David Valadao 

A former dairy farmer who is the US Representative for California’s 21st congressional district, Rep. David Valadao of California, the son of Portuguese immigrants, had rescinded his support of then-presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in June 2016 citing that he “denigrates people based on their ethnicity, religion, or disabilities”.

Despite subsequently steadfastly voting in line with President Trump’s stated position during his tenure, during the second impeachment of Donald Trump on 13 January 2021, Valadao joined the ten Republicans who voted to impeach the sitting president for ‘inciting’ an insurrection at the Capitol.

​Valadao was quoted as saying he felt he had to “go with my gut and vote my conscience”.

On 6 January, crowds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, disrupting the certification of election results in Congress and resulting in 5 deaths.

The outgoing president denied his responsibility for ‘inciting the insurrection’, yet the Democrats swiftly demanded that the sitting president be removed from office either by Vice President Mike Pence invoking the 25th Amendment or by impeachment. As Pence refused to go along with the demands, the impeachment article was introduced on Monday.

232 legislators, including ten Republicans, voted on 13 January to impeach Trump, as 197 voted against.

Now the impeachment resolution will move to the Senate, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that the Senate process would begin “at out first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House”.

Source: Russia Sputnik News

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