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The 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump: 'There has never been a greater betrayal by a president'

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6 days ago Christal Hayes, USA TODAY
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday, leading a list of Republicans who backed the president's removal after blaming him for inciting a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week. 

Trump will leave power as the first president in the nation’s 245-year history to be impeached twice. The vote to impeach Trump was 232 to 197, the most bipartisan impeachment vote in history.

“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement Tuesday, declaring: "I will vote to impeach the President."

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Cheney, R-Wyo., was the highest-ranking Republican to back Trump's removal from office. She noted that the Jan. 6 attack, which resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer, aimed to obstruct America's democratic processes and caused "injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic." 

Liz Cheney wearing glasses: In this Dec. 17, 2019 file photo, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington. © J. Scott Applewhite, AP In this Dec. 17, 2019 file photo, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington.

For that, Cheney said the president alone was to blame. 

“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing,” she said in a statement. “None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not.”

Nine other Republicans also voted to impeach Trump:

  • Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.
  • Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
  • Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.
  • Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio
  • Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C.
  • Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich. 
  • Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif.

Katko, a former federal prosecutor and moderate Republican who endorsed Trump for reelection, said he reviewed the facts and reached his own conclusion.

"To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy," Katko said in a statement. "For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President."

Kinzinger, a former Air Force veteran who served multiple tours overseas, said there was "no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection." 

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"I will vote in favor of impeachment," he wrote in a statement. 

Upton, a moderate, joined the group Wednesday, saying he would have preferred censuring the president, but he had decided "it is time to say: Enough is enough." 

Herrera Beutler announced late Tuesday she would vote to impeach, saying her party "will be best served when those among us choose truth." She slammed Trump's "pathetic denouncement" of the violence during the riots. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats applauded Republicans for backing the effort. 

"Good for her for honoring her oath of office," Pelosi said of Cheney.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., similarly applauded Cheney, calling her a "person of principle."

Newhouse on Wednesday became the first Republican to announce on the House floor that he would support impeaching Trump.

“Last week there was as domestic threat at the door of the Capitol and he did nothing to stop it,” Newhouse said.

“That is why with a heavy heart and clear resolve, I will vote yes on these articles of impeachment,” he said to applause from the Democratic side of the House.

Throughout Trump's presidency, Cheney has remained a loyal Republican vote but has repeatedly come out against the president over his rhetoric and some foreign policy decisions.

In recent months, Cheney's criticisms of the president have grown stronger. She's taken veiled jabs at Trump over his refusal to wear a mask, publicly asked him to stop using his Twitter account to accuse an MSNBC media host of murder and pushed Trump for answers after media reports surfaced showing Russians had offered bounties to the Taliban for killed U.S. troops. 

And before backing Trump's removal, Cheney vehemently opposed pro-Trump efforts by some of her Republican colleagues to object to counting Electoral College results in certain swing states, saying on Twitter that "Congress has no authority to overturn elections by objecting to electors. Doing so steals power from the states & violates the Constitution."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: The 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump: 'There has never been a greater betrayal by a president'

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