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A handful of House Republicans just revolted against President Trump, who’s held them in an iron grip throughout his tumultuous presidency.
Ten Republicans joined Democrats and voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday, making him the first president in U.S. history to get impeached twice by the House of Representatives. While the vote broke mostly along partisan lines, the GOP’s small uprising still marked a stark contrast from the the party’s unanimous opposition in the House to Trump’s first impeachment in December 2019, which, back then, Trump heralded as a kind of victory.
This time, the rift was clear. Even some Republicans who voted against impeachment still declared themselves disturbed by Trump’s actions—including House GOP House minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who said Trump deserves some blame but still opposed impeachment.
“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” McCarthy told the House floor on Wednesday. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
The House impeached Trump for inciting insurrection after he riled up a crowd that sacked the Capitol on January 6. Trump urged his followers to “fight like hell,” moments before they smashed through the doors and windows of the Capitol Building in a wild melee that left at least five people dead.
Here are the Republicans who rebelled against Trump.Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming
The No. 3 House Republican came out swinging in favor of impeaching Trump on Tuesday night and cleared the way for others to follow in her path.
She’s the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who once towered over his party during the presidency of George W. Bush, and an important leader in her caucus.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said in a statement before Wednesday’s vote. “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President.”
Other House Republicans instantly moved against Cheney for her stance against Trump. Members of the GOP caucus began circulating a petition for a special conference to oust her from her leadership position.
Cheney fired back that she has no plans to step down.
"I'm not going anywhere. This is a vote of conscience," Cheney told a member of the press pool on Capitol Hill. "It's one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the Civil War, constitutional crisis. That's what we need to be focused on. That's where our efforts and attention need to be."Rep. John Katko, New York
Katko, a Republican from New York State, announced his plans to impeach Trump shortly before Cheney did. And he invoked his background in law enforcement in his decision.
Katko is a former federal prosecutor who’s gone after gang members for racketeering, and is now the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee. Katko also co-chairs the Tuesday Group, an informal caucus of about 14 moderate Republicans.
“It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection—both on social media ahead of January 6, and in his speech that day,” Katko said in a statement.
“To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President.”Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois
Kinzinger’s already known as a rare Congressional Republican willing to openly criticize Trump.
After Trump tweeted out a bonkers 45-minute speech reciting baseless election conspiracy theories in December, Kinzinger tweeted back: “Time to delete your account.”
Trump’s Twitter account has since been permanently suspended.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection,” Kinzinger said in a statement.Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, Washington
In December 2019, Herrera Beutler voted against impeaching Trump over the Ukraine scandal. At the time, Democrats had accused Trump of attempting to pressure the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation of President-elect Joe Biden in an effort to influence the 2020 election.
Back then, Herrera Beutler said there wasn’t enough proof of Trump’s guilt. This time, she blasted Trump.
“The president of the United States incited a riot aiming to halt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another,” Herrera Beutler said. “The president’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have.”Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan
Upton is Katko’s co-chair of the Tuesday Group and has served in Congress for over 30 years.
The centrist Republican may have a track record of voting for Trump’s agenda 79 percent of the time, according to Fivethirtyeight. But that still ranks him one of the least Trump-friendly members of the Republican House Caucus.
Upton was among only four House Republicans who voted with Democrats to condemn Trump’s use of racist language, after Trump told Democratic female members of Congress including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to “go back” to their home countries.
"I would have preferred a bipartisan, formal censure rather than a drawn-out impeachment process. I fear this will now interfere with important legislative business and a new Biden Administration. But it is time to say: Enough is enough," Upton said.Rep. Dan Newhouse, Washington
Newhouse became the first Republican to address the House floor in favor of impeachment on Wednesday afternoon.
“There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions,” Newhouse said. “That is why, with a heavy heart, and clear resolve, I will vote yes on these articles.”Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio
Gonzalez, whose father immigrated from Cuba, is a relative newcomer to Congress.
“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 said.Rep. David Valadao, California
Valadao said he would have preferred a thorough investigation before the vote and criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for staging what he called a “rushed political stunt.” Still, in the end, he said Trump’s actions left him no other choice.
“Based on the facts before me, I have to go with my gut and vote my conscience,” he tweeted. “I voted to impeach President Trump. His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.”Rep. Peter Meijer, Michigan
“I believe the article of impeachment to be accurate,” Meijer said. “The president betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the violent acts of insurrection last week. With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump.”Rep. Tom Rice, South Carolina
Rice’s vote to impeach came as a surprise—after he objected to the Electoral College count last week and joined a doomed lawsuit to overturn the election result.
The move came just a few days after Rice told a local outlet he didn’t support impeachment.
“Trump acted recklessly last Wednesday, but he only has nine days left in his term,” Rice said in a statement on Monday. “Let’s not stoke further division.”
It wasn’t immediately clear in the wake of Wednesday’s vote why he changed his mind.