hit counter
Washington

What happened to the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump?

comment

Ten House Republicans voted to charge Donald Trump with inciting a riot after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, looting the building and injuring more than 100 law enforcement officials. Lawmakers argued that the former president’s rhetoric and actions emboldened thousands of his supporters to engage in violent behavior to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. And for some, that made Trump unfit for office even as his presidency ended.

Here is a look at the political destiny of these individuals:

Cheney has become arguably the most vocal critic of her party’s former leader, which in turn has led to her being greatly despised by Trump and his supporters. She has repeatedly tried to argue before the January 6 investigative committee that Trump was directly responsible for the violent insurgency. As a result, the former president backed Cheney’s main opponent, Harriet Hageman, who won in August, ending the former House Republican Conference chairman’s congressional career — but no influence. She backed several Democrats who defeated Trump loyalists in the general election.

Rice has been a frequent supporter of Trump during his presidency — a move partly influenced by the former president’s popularity in the legislature’s conservative circuit. But after the riot, lawmakers called Trump’s behavior a “complete failure” and “inexcusable” and voted to censure him. An enraged Trump responded by endorsing Rice’s main opponent, ending the lawmaker’s nearly decade-long congressional career.

Rep. David G. Valadao (R-Calif.)

Valadao represents a district President Biden won in 2020, which may have contributed to his willingness to work with Democrats since he first came to Congress a decade ago. Lawmakers called Trump “a major force” in the Jan. 6 attacks and described the president’s words as “un-American” and “abhorrent.” More than a week after Election Day, he was engaged in an uphill battle to retain his seat as representative of the predominantly Latin American district, eventually winning by a narrow margin.

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.)

Meijer was a freshman when he traveled to Washington to represent a district previously represented by a lawmaker who voted for Trump’s first impeachment. Meijer followed suit after the uprising, accusing Trump of “shrinking from leadership when our country needed it most” as he refused to encourage his supporters to back down. The former president responded by backing Meijer’s main opponent, John Gibbs. In the general election, Democrat Hillary Scholten defeated Gibbs and will become the first Democrat to hold the seat in four decades.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.)

Lawmakers came to Washington with the Tea Party Republican class, promising to hold the White House accountable for its actions and claiming to do just that after the Capitol attack. Herrera Beutler represented a swing district, which may have influenced her decision to vote for Trump’s impeachment. But that decision prompted the former president to back a Trump loyalist in the primary, vote-waiver Joe Kent. In the general election, Democrats flipped the seat when business owner Marie Gluesenkamp defeated Perez Kent.

MP Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)

Kinzinger’s decision to impeach Trump came as no surprise, as prior to Jan. 6 he was probably the former president’s most vocal critic in the GOP, despite coming from a Trump-won district. But after the attack, the Air Force veteran argued that Trump’s actions qualified as an “indictable misdemeanor.” Kinzinger continued to accuse the former president of instigating the uprising. He also joined the special committee tying Trump to the violent mob that put lawmakers’ lives at risk before announcing his resignation from Congress.

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)

Newhouse wasn’t the most visible lawmaker, but he made his voice known when he not only supported Trump’s impeachment but urged his party colleagues to do the same. After the uprising, he argued that “a vote against impeachment is a vote to affirm unacceptable violence.” Newhouse retired from representing his conservative district after less than a decade in Congress.

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio)

Gonzalez was only two terms in Congress when he accused his party’s leader of “organizing and inciting a mob” that attacked lawmakers in hopes of confirming the results of the 2020 presidential election. The former NFL player represented a district Trump won easily, thus making it difficult for him to continue supporting the will of most of his constituents. He finally announced his resignation months after the uprising.

MP Fred Upton (R-Mich.)

Upton has represented a moderate district for more than three decades. He has a formidable track record working across the aisle and was one of the Republicans Biden seemed to think of as he recalled GOP lawmakers’ commitment to bipartisanship. Upton supported the move to certify the 2020 election and criticized Trump for “trying to impede the peaceful transfer of power” before retiring from the legislature.

Rep. John Katko (R-NY)

The lawmaker, who represents a moderate district in the former president’s home state, criticized him after the Jan. 6 events. Trump “encouraged this uprising,” the former federal prosecutor said before backing impeachment. Katko announced his retirement before watching Republicans in New York gain more control than many expected after the midterms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button