After a pro-Trump mob attacked the United States Capitol the previous week, 10 Republicans joined all 222 Democrats in charging Donald Trump with incitement of insurrection on January 13, 2021, making him the first U.S. president to be impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives.
Trump was impeached in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to his Ukraine scandal, but not a single Republican in the House voted in favor of impeachment at the time.
The Senate had cleared him both times, allowing him to continue serving as president.
Since leaving the Oval Office, Trump has remained a major player in Republican politics, publicly endorsing those who share his views and attacking those he views as being unloyal.
What happened to the 10 Republicans who voted against their party’s leader for impeachment in 2021? There were four who left the House of Representatives due to retirement announcements. Six of them decided to seek re-election this year, with varying degrees of success. Their current status is as follows:
Those Republicans Who Opted to Run Again
Democratic Representative Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who comes from a conservative family (her dad was Vice President Dick Cheney), has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of Trump’s administration. She has been in the spotlight throughout the summer as vice chair of the House select committee looking into the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
In July, Cheney said of her position on the committee, “I believe this is the most important thing I’ve ever done professionally and maybe the most important thing I’ve done.” Cheney has paid a heavy political price for her persistent warnings about Trump and the fate of American Democracy. In Wyoming, where Trump won nearly 70% of the vote in 2020, she was booted out of Republican leadership and censured by her party, which has backed pro-Trump primary challenger Harriet Hageman.
Casper Star Tribune’s latest poll shows Hageman with a commanding lead, but Cheney insists she won’t sell out her principles to win reelection. She has, however, left the door open to running for higher office in the future.
After being censured by the Republican National Committee, Cheney said, “I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump.” “Time will be the ultimate arbiter. As long as I am alive, I will continue to defend the republic we have built on the rule of law. Whatever the case may be.”
House Member Jaime Herrera Beutler
“It is clear to me that those of my own party who opt for honesty will do the most good for our cause. I will cast my vote to impeach President Trump because I believe he has violated his oath of office “Earlier in 2021, before casting the vote that would end her career, Beutler said.
It was revealed during impeachment proceedings that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Beutler what Trump said when he was asked to stop the rioters on January 6. Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” the then-president reportedly said, as relayed to Beutler by McCarthy. In response to her vote for impeachment, the local Republican party censured her.
On Tuesday, the congresswoman announced that she would not be seeking reelection in Washington’s 3rd district. In Washington state’s open primary, in which all candidates run on the same ballot regardless of party and the top two advance, retired special forces officer Joe Kent, who has Trump’s endorsement, was the leading Republican.
Senator Peter Meijer
The Republican from Michigan had only been in office for a week when he considered joining fellow Republicans in trying to impeach the president. In an interview with The New Yorker, he described the move as “career suicide before my career ever began.”
Meijer, after only one term in Congress, was defeated in the primary on August 2. “I’m proud to have remained true to my principles, even when it came at a significant political cost,” Meijer said after conceding to his primary opponent, John Gibbs, a former Trump administration official who has the support of the former president and who has embraced his “stolen election” narrative.
“In order to understand what happened, we must acknowledge it for what it was. There is a need for us to acknowledge the risk of political violence and declare that we will not tolerate it “This was what he had to say on January 6th, exactly a year after the attack. This kind of dangerous rhetoric that encourages, spurs, incites people to go and try to use force, threats, and violence to achieve a political end is unacceptable in our political system, which is why I voted for impeachment.
Representative Dan Newhouse
The Republican from Washington explained his vote to impeach by saying, “Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.”
After finishing first in the open primary for Washington’s House District 4, Newhouse will be on the ballot in the general election this coming November. He is a Republican, and his leading Democratic opponent is Doug White, who is currently in second place.
Loren Culp, Trump’s preferred Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2020, did not make it into the top two and will not be running in the general election.
After his impeachment, Newhouse said, “I hope those who disagree with me on this issue will remember my lifelong support for conservative causes and values.”
Republican Representative Tom Rice
“I’ve stuck by this President through four years of ups and downs. I helped his campaign and cast two ballots for him. However, this catastrophic failure can never be justified “Rice, a Republican from South Carolina, explained his intention to vote for impeachment in the year 2021.
Voters in South Carolina’s District 7 sided with Rice’s opponent, Trump-backed state Rep. Russell Fry, in the June primary, despite Rice’s campaigning on the issue of his support for the former president prior to his impeachment.
Rice was defeated by Fry by a score of 26 points.
A monarchy is as good an option as any other, Rice told NPR in February, if the president can try to intimidate Congress into doing what he wants.
Trump has called for Rice to be “thrown out of office ASAP,” calling him a “coward who abandoned his constituents by caving to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left.”
Legislator David Valadao
Representative Valadao of California’s 22nd Congressional District is one of two candidates who made it through the state’s open primary and will face off in the general election this November, much like Washington’s Representative Yuri Kochiyama. Rudy Salas is a Democrat and the other. Valadao was able to fend off competition from two other Republicans who were also seeking his seat.
Trump did not back a candidate in the primary, and Valadao has not faced the same backlash as other Republicans who voted to impeach the former president.
After voting to impeach, Valadao said, “President Trump was, without question, a driving force in the catastrophic events that took place on Jan. 6.”
“His inciting words were anti-American, revolting, and a clear impeachable offense. It’s past time to prioritize nation over party, “The same thing, he added.
Former Republicans Who Chose to Retire
Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan
The congressman from Michigan announced in April that he would not run for reelection in 2022, joining four others who had already made the same decision.
From his time as a Boy Scout, Upton said, “As a former Boy Scout, I believe in leaving the campground better than one found it.” This was reported in The Washington Post. “Every book has an ending, no matter how good it is. I’m done here.”
“It’s official: UPTON IS RETIRING! It’s been accomplished in 4 out of 8 steps; “reported USA Today, Trump said in a statement at the time. The others have been decimated, so who’s next?
Senator Adam Kinzinger
The Illinois lawmaker who voted to impeach the president said, “There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”
Former Air National Guard pilot and Iraq war veteran Kinzinger announced in October 2021 that he would not be seeking reelection to Congress for a sixth time in 2022.
I feel even more patriotic about America now than I did before, he declared. “More than ever, I want to make a difference in the world. A great deal of my disappointment is directed at those in authority who fail to actually lead. The scope of the war must be increased, and the truth must be communicated to all regions of the United States.”
Kinzinger has become a prominent critic of Trump and has spoken publicly about the death threats he has received as a result of his stance.
The congressman, one of only two Republicans on the House committee looking into the attack on January 6 and attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, was the focus of media attention during the committee’s televised hearings this past summer.
Kinzinger suggested he still has something to contribute to American politics despite his retirement announcement. He emphasized that “this isn’t the end of my political future but the beginning,” saying, “I want to make it clear.”
Democratic Representative Anthony Gonzalez
The Ohio congressman who was the first of the 10 Republicans to vote for impeachment announced his retirement in September 2021 rather than face a reelection battle while Trump was in the spotlight.
Gonzalez said he couldn’t balance the needs of his two young children with those of his role in Congress.
Since he voted for impeachment, he has also admitted feeling uneasy about the need for increased security. After the election, he was greeted by two uniformed police officers at the Cleveland airport, an encounter he described as “eye-opening.”
There are times when you have to ask yourself, “Is this really what I want for my family when they travel?” he reportedly told The New York Times.
Senator John Katko
The New York Republican explained that he decided not to run for reelection in 2022 so that he could devote more time to his family.
“It’s good to hear that someone else has met their maker. The Upstate New Yorker Katko has disappeared.” Trump declared in a press release.
Katko said in an interview in March that he was sure he would have been reelected even after redistricting had he decided to run again.
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Even after the New York state redistricting, he was confident he could win. And I had a clear road map to success.
He also said that Trump’s call to fire the 10 Republican senators who voted for impeachment had “no bearing” on his final decision.
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