Ten Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to charge Trump with incitement of an insurrection

By Sean Neumann
January 13, 2021 05:54 PM
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President Donald Trump
| Credit: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty

Donald Trump made history on Wednesday, in the final week of his presidency — not only by becoming the first commander-in-chief to be twice impeached, but also by receiving the most impeachment votes ever from his own party.

A total of 10 Republican lawmakers joined their Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives and voted in favor of charging Trump, 74, with "incitement of insurrection" following Jan. 6's deadly U.S. Capitol riot.

The historic bipartisan charge was levied against Trump exactly one week after the president told a crowd of his supporters outside the White House to "fight like hell" and encouraged them to march on the U.S. Capitol building.

Inside, lawmakers barricaded themselves in offices while the violent mob clashed with police and ransacked the building. Five people — including one Capitol police officer — died during the riot.

When President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868, no members of the Democratic Party voted to impeach him. When President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998, five members of the Democratic Party voted to impeach him on three of his four charges.

No House Republicans voted to impeach Trump the first time in December 2019, on two charges stemming from his role in the Ukraine scandal.

President Donald Trump
| Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty

The president was on stage and speaking at a rally in Battle Creek, Mich., when he was first informed that no Republicans had supported the first impeachment effort — something he long cast as a political "witch hunt," mustered by Democratic lawmakers who, he claimed, still couldn't accept his shocking 2016 victory.

"Whoa, whoa, wow, wow," Trump remarked at the time. "We didn't lose one republican vote, and three Democrats voted for us. Haleigh! Wow! Thank you, Haleigh, great job. Wow."

After he was later acquitted of the charges by the Republican-led Senate last February, Trump waltzed into the East Room of the White House to a standing ovation from his family and closest GOP allies, held up a copy of The Washington Post and called the charges "bulls---."

But Republicans did not offer Trump the same support 13 months later, as he now faces an unprecedented second impeachment trial with one week remaining in his term. (The Senate trial will likely carry over into the first weeks, or months, of President-elect Joe Biden's administration.)

Rioters at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021
| Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the first House Republicans to voice support for Trump's second impeachment, called Wednesday's vote a "sobering moment."

"This is not a vote I took lightly, but a vote I took confidently," Kinzinger, 42, tweeted. "I'm at peace."

Reps. Kinzinger, John Katko and Liz Cheney — the third-ranking Republican in the House — all released statements ahead of time saying they had decided to impeach Trump. By the time lawmakers cast their votes Wednesday, seven more GOP colleagues joined them in the extraordinary rebuke of their own party's leader.

"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney, 54, said. "Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president."