In 2019, when the United States House of Representatives first acted to impeach Donald Trump, only Democrats and independents voted to hold the current occupant of the Oval Office accountable for his high crimes and misdemeanors.
This time, impeachment will pass with bipartisan support. We still don’t know how many Republicans will vote to impeach. But we do know that at least one from our region will be among their number, and that is Jaime Herrera Beutler, who represents the 3rd Congressional District, spanning Southwest Washington.
The President of the United States incited a riot aiming to halt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. That riot led to five deaths. People everywhere watched in disbelief as the center of American democracy was assaulted. The violent mob bludgeoned to death a Capitol police officer as they defaced symbols of our freedom. These terrorists roamed the Capitol, hunting the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.
Hours went by before the President did anything meaningful to stop the attack. Instead, he and his lawyer were busy making calls to senators who were still in lockdown, seeking their support to further delay the Electoral College certification. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy describes pleading with the President to go on television and call for an end to the mayhem, to no avail.
The President attacked Vice President Mike Pence on Twitter while Pence was in a secure room having fled from the mob that had breached the Senate floor threatening to hang him.
Finally, the President released a pathetic denouncement of the violence that also served as a wink and a nod to those who perpetrated it: “I love you,” he said to them, “you are special.”
More hours of destruction and violence ensued before law enforcement officials were finally able to clear the Capitol.
The President’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have. I understand the argument that the best course is not to further inflame the country or alienate Republican voters.
But I am also a Republican voter. I believe in our Constitution, individual liberty, free markets, charity, life, justice, peace and this exceptional country. I see that my own party will be best served when those among us choose truth. I believe President Trump acted against his oath of office, so I will vote to impeach him.
Thank you, Representative Herrera Beutler, for upholding your oath this time around. Your loyalty to the Constitution will surely incur the wrath of a large number of rabid Donald Trump followers, some of whom we imagine may illegally threaten you. We’re sorry for whatever anxiety and stress may come your way as a result of taking this vote. But it is the right thing to do. We believe one day you’ll look back and regard this as one of the finest decisions you ever made.