10 GOP lawmakers break with party in House vote to impeach Trump
WASHINGTON - As the House underwent an unprecedented vote on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time following the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters, several House Republican lawmakers broke party lines and backed Democrats in their calls to remove Trump from office.
At approximately 4:25 p.m. EST., the House secured enough votes to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection. The House voted 232-197, with 10 of those votes in favor of impeachment coming from GOP lawmakers.
The measure now makes Trump the first American president to be impeached twice, facing a strong bipartisan rebuke from the House.
One by one, Republican figures came forward with support to impeach the president, including six who introduced a resolution on Tuesday to censure Trump over what they said was his role in inciting the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.
Ahead of the impeachment vote in the House, eight Republicans previously came forward saying they would support legislation to impeach the president including, Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.; Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.; Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash; Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.; Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich.; and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio.
Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina became the ninth Republican lawmaker to vote to impeach the president as voting continued at approximately 4:20 p.m. EST.
Rep. David Valadao, R-CA., became GOP lawmaker number ten.
Republican support for removing Trump from office comes amid an apparent rift in the party.
Newly-elected Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer said that "with a heavy heart" he will join some other Republicans in supporting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Meijer announced he would vote to impeach Trump in a statement released Wednesday as the House was debating the proceedings. He said the vote "isn’t a victory for my party, and isn’t the victory Democrats might think it is."
Meijer said impeaching Trump will likely exacerbate division and set precedent. But he ultimately concluded it is a "meaningful" way to hold Trump accountable for the "seriousness" of his actions.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump "bears responsibility" for last week’s pro-Trump Capitol riot that resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer. But McCarthy said he does not support impeachment, calling the process a "mistake."
Before the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol, Trump held a rally near the White House, during which he encouraged thousands of his supporters to "fight like hell" and march to the Capitol, where lawmakers were in the process of certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College votes after he won the 2020 election. Trump maintained that he won the election over Biden, falsely claiming voter fraud and irregularities. None of his lawsuits have prevailed in court.
The pro-Trump mob overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to scatter and take shelter.
Five people were killed, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Another woman was shot to death and three others died after succumbing to medical emergencies. A second Capitol Police officer, Officer Howard Libengood, reportedly died from an apparent suicide but it’s not clear if his death was related to the riot.
Prosecutors have brought dozens of cases after the deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol, and they vowed more charges as investigators work to identify members of the pro-Trump mob.
Chris Williams and the Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was reported from Los Angeles.