Chip Somodevilla / AP
Some Republicans who broke away from the GOP to back the Democrat’s historic second indictment of President Trump are facing heat from their local Republican parties for how they voted.
More than a year ago, all House Republicans voted against the president’s first charge. On Wednesday, 10 GOP members joined all Democrats in accusing Trump, some of whom were the only representative from their state delegation to vote that way.
Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Peter Meijer (Mich.), Dan Newhouse (Wash.), Tom Rice (SC), Fred Upton (Mich.) And David Valadao (California) voted in favor.
The election to split from the party’s majority carries the risk that these members may face political setbacks for their votes and completely lose the support of their state’s Republican party in the next election.
Cheney, No. 3 in the House Republican leadership as GOP conference chair, gets flakes from the Wyoming Republican Party and her congressional colleagues.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus circulated a petition Wednesday to force a vote on a resolution calling on Cheney to resign. The decision states Cheney’s position “has brought the conference into dishonesty and created disagreement.”
The Wyoming GOP issued a lengthy statement early Thursday in which he chased Cheney. The party claims it has received harsh comments from its members saying, “Our phone has not stopped ringing, our email is being filled up and our website has seen more traffic than any other time.”
These comments accused Cheney of adapting to the “belt elite” and “with leftists.”
The organization said: “We as a party respect our elected officials and assume they will respect and represent their constituents. We receive the message loud and clear that what happened yesterday is a true travesty for Wyoming and the country.”
Cheney said her voice of accusation was a guilty conscience.
She said, “The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a major betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the constitution.”
New York, South Carolina weighs in
Katko and Rice were also slapped by their state conservative groups. So far, however, these organizations have not yet commented on whether they will continue to support legislators through the termination of their terms.
The New York State Conservative Party said the organization was “very disappointed” with Katko’s vote for persecution.
The organization said: “We consider his action to be ill-informed. It will do nothing to close the national divide and is likely to exacerbate it further.”
The Conservative Party is very disappointed with Con. John Katko’s intention to vote for indictment. We regard his action as undisclosed. It will do nothing to close the national divide and is likely to exacerbate it further.
– The Conservative Party of the NYS (@cpnys) January 13, 2021
Katko, who was the first Republican to say he would vote for the indictment, said as a former federal prosecutor that he “must follow the law and the facts.”
He said, “Allowing the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequences is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit without taking action.”
South Carolina GOP President Drew McKissick called the persecution a “political stunt” and slammed rice for voting for it.
“Democrats have been looking for any excuse to get rid of President Trump ever since he set foot in the Oval Office,” McKissick said in a statement Wednesday. “We completely disagree with this scam, and it is an understatement to say that I am seriously disappointed with Congressman Tom Rice.”
Rice strongly criticized Trump’s response to the riots at the Capitol, saying his failure to interrupt the rebels, visit the wounded or families of the dead in the week after the siege pushed him to vote for charges.
He said, “I have supported this President through thick and thin for four years. I fought for him and voted for him twice. But this complete failure is indispensable.”
Members say critics of their vote Wednesday also come from friends and family.
Kinzinger told the Chicago Sun Times that he could lose close relations over his vote to accuse Trump.
He said: “I have heard from friends who no longer want to be friends with me. I have had family members who are a little distant relatives to sign a petition rejecting me, quoting” Bible verses “and that I was part of the devil’s army. It actually rebuilt me because I think we are fighting, you know, against a lot of misinformation where even people who are Christians have been misled. ”