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Meet the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump

One voted last week against certifying Electoral College results

New York GOP Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to publicly announce he would vote to impeach President Trump.
New York GOP Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to publicly announce he would vote to impeach President Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ten Republicans voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump, exactly one week after a violent attack on the Capitol by the president’s supporters. 

The Democrat-led House voted 232-197 to approve one article of impeachment against Trump, charging the president with “incitement of insurrection.” 

The GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach the president from their own party included Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House. Cheney’s vote has prompted House Republicans to call on her to step down as conference chairwoman.

While many in the group have a history of breaking with their party, the “yes” votes included several with a strong record of supporting Trump and one, South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice, who voted last week against certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in two states. 

Most Republicans in the House opposed impeachment, with many arguing the hurried process would further divide the country. But for these 10 Republicans who supported impeachment, the fact that Trump incited the riot at the Capitol was indisputable. 

The group represents swing districts and solidly Republican ones, although the political dynamics of their House seats could change as the congressional maps are redrawn this year after the 2020 Census results are released. The group also includes both Republicans who sit on the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, which determines funding for the Capitol campus, including the Capitol Police. 

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Four Republicans did not vote on impeachment, including Texas Rep. Kay Granger, who recently tested positive for COVID-19. The others were Reps. Andy Harris of Maryland, Greg Murphy of North Carolina and Daniel Webster of Florida.

Here are the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump: 

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney 

Cheney has had a changeable relationship with Trump throughout her rapid ascension through the ranks of House leadership. But in recent months she has been among his chief critics within the party, and she led the GOP call to impeach him after the riots. In a statement Tuesday night, she said Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”

First elected to Wyoming’s sole House seat in 2016, Cheney became the Republican conference chairwoman three years later, calling for a fundamental “overhaul” of the party’s messaging operation. For the former Fox News pundit and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, that meant amped-up attacks on Democrats as “socialists” whose ideas she sees as an assault to American freedoms, rhetoric that has been adopted by Trump’s most ardent supporters.

During Trump’s four years in office, Cheney has voted with the president 93 percent of the time, according to CQ Vote Watch, above the GOP average score of 92 percent. But she has broadsided him on core policy issues in recent months, unmoved by her state’s 70 percent vote for Trump in November. 

Cheney circulated a 21-page memo to the GOP conference before the Jan. 6 votes objecting to Biden’s Electoral College victory, saying the measures set an “exceptionally dangerous precedent.” Her efforts earned her a personal rebuke from Trump in his remarks at a rally near the White House before rioters stormed the Capitol. “We gotta get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world,” Trump said. “We gotta get rid of them.”

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez

The two-term lawmaker said in a statement released as the vote was underway that he had concluded that the “President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties.” 

Gonzalez represents the state’s 16th District, a mostly rural stretch that also includes the suburbs of Cleveland and Canton and which Trump carried by 14 points in 2020, according to Daily Kos Elections. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, Gonzalez has voted to support Trump’s position on legislation nearly 90 percent of the time, but the former professional football player couldn’t stick with Trump over the 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,” he added in his Wednesday statement. 

Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler 

Herrera Beutler, a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus who has been in office since 2011, has bucked her party before. She is also the top Republican on the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the Capitol Police.

Despite being targeted by Democrats in 2020, Herrera Beutler defeated Democratic political science professor Carolyn Long by 13 points in November. Trump carried the district, Washington’s 3rd, by 4 points, according to Daily Kos Elections

She was one of 20 Republicans who voted in 2017 against the GOP’s effort to replace the 2010 health care law, and she joined Republicans who rejected Trump after the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape was released during the 2016 presidential campaign. Her presidential support score during the Trump years was 78 percent, according to CQ Vote Watch.

In a statement Tuesday night, Herrera Beutler said there is “indisputable evidence” to support impeachment. “I understand the argument that the best course is not to further inflame the country or alienate Republican voters,” she said. “But I am a Republican voter.” She elaborated on the House floor Wednesday.

“My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision,” she said, in a word choice that begged comparison to reports that some Republicans had stopped short of supporting impeachment because of lingering fear of the president. “I’m not choosing a side, I’m choosing truth. It is the only way to defeat fear.” 

New York Rep. John Katko

The four-term congressman was the first Republican to publicly announce he would support impeachment. Katko, a former federal prosecutor, said he approached his decision “by reviewing the facts at hand.”

“It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection — both on social media ahead of January 6th, and in his speech that day,” Katko said in a statement Tuesday night. His announcement came hours after he appeared at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event where he described delivering a care package to the family of a Capitol Police officer, a former intern in the congressman’s office who, he said, was “severely assaulted” last week. 

Katko has emphasized his law enforcement background and his penchant to break with his party in his campaigns in the 24th District, which includes Syracuse. He has voted to support Trump’s priorities 72 percent of the time, well below the GOP average of 92 percent during the president’s term, according to CQ Vote Watch. The central New York district has supported Democratic presidential candidates in recent election cycles, but Katko has still managed to win reelection. Despite predictions from both parties that Biden would easily win the district in November, Katko won a rematch against former college professor Dana Balter. He defeated Balter by 10 points in 2020 after defeating her by 5 points in 2018. 

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger  

Kinzinger, first elected to Congress in 2010 when voters swept House Republicans into power, has relied on his military background in crafting his legislative priorities, especially on foreign policy. The veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan serves on the House Foreign Affairs panel, as well as Energy and Commerce. Kinzinger initially defended Trump’s foreign policy and national security posture, but by 2018 he had become a critic of the commander in chief. 

He voted in line with the president on legislation 90 percent of the time during the Trump years, according to CQ Vote Watch. Kinzinger voted with Trump 85 percent of the time in 2019. Trump carried Kinzinger’s 16th District, which stretches from Illinois’ Wisconsin border north of Rockford to its line with Indiana, in 2020. Trump got 57 percent of the vote in the district, according to Daily Kos Elections, while Kinzinger got 65 percent.

He immediately condemned Trump in a video statement on Jan. 6. “The storming of the Capitol was a coup attempt, with the purpose of overturning the election of a duly elected president,” he said. “The current president incited this coup, encouraged it, and did little to protect the Capitol and the Constitution.”

Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer   

The freshman Republican, who won a primary last summer in the 3rd District with the backing of House GOP leaders such as Kevin McCarthy, already is cutting an image for himself independent of his party after two weeks on the job. It’s less surprising considering that former Rep. Justin Amash, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Libertarian who split with Trump, held the seat before Meijer. Amash voted to impeach Trump in 2019. 

The scion of the Meijer family, which founded the grocery store chain of the same name, is a veteran of the Iraq War. Trump won the 3rd District, which includes Grand Rapids and Battle Creek, with 51 percent of the vote. Meijer, who turned his campaign operation into a grocery delivery service in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, outperformed Trump in November, taking 53 percent of the vote. 

Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse

Newhouse was first elected during a Republican wave in 2014. He beat a Democratic challenger by 33 points in November, solidly overperforming Trump’s 18-point win in Washington’s agricultural 4th District. He serves on the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee with Herrera Beutler.

“A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital,” he said in a statement. “It is also a vote to condone the president’s inaction.”

Newhouse’s views have not always aligned with Trump’s on key issues, but he has modified positions in response to the Trump administration’s actions. He was a strong supporter of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program but said after the Trump administration ended the program that it was “never the long-term answer.” He is concerned about the national debt but voted for the 2017 GOP tax overhaul that contributed to its increase. He has had a 90 percent presidential unity score during the Trump administration. But on Wednesday, he said Trump failed when the country needed a leader. 

South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice

Rice’s vote for impeachment stunned those familiar with the South Carolina lawmaker’s record as a staunch Trump defender, especially during his first impeachment

“I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice,” Rice said in a statement Wednesday evening. “But, this utter failure is inexcusable.”

Rice voted for motions to object to certifying Biden’s Electoral College victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania last week, votes that came after security teams cleared the building of rioters and members returned from a secure location. Rice told local media he waited until the last minute to cast those votes because he was “extremely disappointed” in the president after the riots and that Trump needed to concede the election. He also said last week that he did not support impeaching the president or invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. 

Rice, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, has supported the Trump administration’s position 94 percent of the time over the past four years. He represents a solidly Republican district in the Myrtle Beach area that Trump carried by 19 points in November. Rice, who has had little difficulty holding his seat since his first 2012 victory, won his race by 24 points in November. 

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton  

Upton, an 18-term lawmaker who previously held the gavel of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is something of an endangered species on Capitol Hill: a relatively moderate Republican who isn’t afraid to cross the aisle to vote with Democrats. Fellow lawmakers and outsiders who lobby Upton say he’s a pragmatist. He’s part of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group working to build consensus on legislation. 

The former committee chairman’s 6th District, nestled in the state’s touristy southwestern corner that includes Lake Michigan shoreline as well as Kalamazoo, voted 51 percent for Trump in 2020, according to Daily Kos Elections. Upton won reelection with 56 percent of the vote last year. Since 2017, the longtime congressman voted in line with Trump’s position on legislation 78 percent of the time, according to CQ Vote Watch. 

California Rep. David Valadao

Valadao, who was out of office for two years but returned this Congress after winning in November, represents his state’s 21st District, which includes the Central Valley. Biden carried the district by 11 points. Valadao was just sworn into office on Tuesday, having missed the start of the new Congress after testing positive for COVID-19. 

Valadao, a dairy farmer, had a perfect record in 2017 and 2018 on voting for bills that Trump supported. But it’s not the first time that he’s been something of an outlier in his party. He was one of only three Republicans in 2013 who signed on to a comprehensive immigration overhaul put forth by Democrats.

Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.

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