5 Republicans Who Voted for Trump Impeachment Have Learned What It Cost

Tom Rice, John Katko, Fred Upton, Adam Kinzinger, and Anthony Gonzalez are members of the team. Five Republican members of Congress who voted for Trump’s impeachment.

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Rice lost the recent Republican primary, and the remaining candidates are not seeking re-election.

Political decisions have consequences. Rice, Katko, Upton, Kingzinger, and Gonzalez’s careers are examples of this.

Illinois Representative Kinzinger has been arguably the most defiant. The New York Times reported that when confronted by members of his own family who were skeptical of his vote against Trump in his second impeachment, Kinzinger claimed they had been brainwashed by conservative churches.

Following the outgoing president’s assertions that the 2020 election was stolen, Kinzinger adopted a firm stance against Trump, despite having supported him 90% of the time.

South Carolina’s Rice is the first of the ten Republicans who supported the second impeachment to be removed from office.

Besides the four who decided not to run, the remaining five Republicans are Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, both of Washington, and David Valadao of California.

Prior to being defeated by Trump-backed state Rep. Russell Fry, Rice told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump was “harmful” to the Republican Party.

“I think he is a narcissist. I think he craves attention and as long as he can get attention, he will try to remain the standard-bearer. But in the end I think he’s harmful for the Republican Party.”

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Initially, Rice was not going to vote for the second impeachment but was displeased with Trump’s reaction to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion, saying the president responded weakly and lacked “contrition” about the event, The Post and Courier reported.

Katko, recognized as one of the most bipartisan House members, issued a statement following the incursion that said Trump “encouraged this insurrection — both on social media ahead of January 6th, and in his speech that day.

“By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement, and division.”

In a statement explaining his impeachment vote, Upton of Michigan said, “Enough is enough. The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any president to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next. Thus I will vote to impeach.”

In a New York Times interview on his decision not to run for re-election, Gonzalez of Ohio called Trump a “cancer for the country” and described Jan. 6 as a personal “line in the sand” event.

Maybe Rice, Katko, Upton, Kingzinger and Gonzalez truly believe Trump deserved impeachment.

But as each month seems to reveal more information that undercuts the establishment narrative of what happened on Jan. 6, 2021 — odd behavior by the Capitol Police, apparent FBI activity and more — one has to wonder if the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump hold firm to their convictions.

While joining a Democratic effort should always be a warning that something’s not right, I won’t judge the beliefs or motives of those 10 or the five leaving office.

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I can say there are political consequences suffered by the departing five. One way or another, Donald Trump remains a major force in contemporary Republican politics.

And members of the GOP base, tired of decades of being ignored or pushed around, have long memories.

Even post-Jan. 6, their numbers are growing.