In this image from video, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 7. (House Television via AP, file)

In this image from video, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 7. (House Television via AP, file)

Washington lawmakers explain why they voted to impeach Trump

Nine of Washington’s 10 U.S. representatives supported impeachment. Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted no.

President Donald Trump was impeached for a second time by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.

He is accused of inciting insurrection for his actions surrounding the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

By a vote of 232-197 — including support from 10 Republicans — Trump became the first president to be impeached twice.

On Dec. 13, 2019, the House voted to remove the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump was found not guilty following a vote of the U.S. Senate.

Nine of Washington’s 10 representatives supported Wednesday’s impeachment, including two Republicans. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane was the state’s lone “no” vote.

Reps. Jamie Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse did not support the 2019 charges, but voted in favor of the most recent impeachment.

Tuesday evening, lawmakers in the House adopted a resolution by vote of 223-205 urging Vice President Mike Pence to use powers granted in the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to remove Trump from office.

In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Pence said he would not pursue a removal.

It was not immediately clear when a second impeachment trial would begin in the Senate.

Here’s what a few of Washington’s representatives had to say about the impeachment:

Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat representing Washington’s 1st District from northeast King County to the Canadian border:

President Trump “violated his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. He continues to be a danger to our national security as long as he remains the commander-in-chief. He should be held accountable and barred from holding federal office in the future.

“Some ask why do this now and to that I answer how can we not? It is critical that we hold a president accountable for his dangerous actions. Inaction would be an abdication of Congress’ duty and a failure to uphold our oath of office. We must be a country where no one is above the law.”

Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat representing Washington’s 2nd District including western Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties, and all of Island and San Juan counties:

“President Trump committed an impeachable offense when he incited his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Today, I voted for impeachment to remove the president from office.

“History will judge the president harshly. Regardless of whether the president is removed before the end of his term, both he and the domestic terrorists he inspired will be held accountable.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat representing Washington’s 7th District including parts of Snohomish and King counties:

“We must urgently remove Donald Trump from office to protect our country, our Constitution and our very democracy. We must send a clear message to the President that the United States Congress and the American people will not stand by and allow one man to turn our democracy into an autocracy; that we will not stand by while that man incites insurrectionists to launch a deadly assault on our country. We must hold him accountable.”

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican representing the 5th District in Eastern Washington:

“The Article presented before the House centers around whether President Trump’s words directly incited the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol last week. Based on my assessment of Constitutionally-protected speech, I do not believe his words constitute an incitement of violence as laid out in Supreme Court precedent. Further, impeachment is not something for us to take lightly, and the fact that Speaker Pelosi is rushing this process and has chosen not to hold hearings or extend debate on the questions at hand makes me question her motives as nothing more than politics. The President has mere days left on his term, he has conceded, and the inauguration is next week. Let’s let the peaceful transfer of power take place.”

Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, a Republican representing Washington’s 3rd District:

“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 of action is not to further inflame the country or alienate Republican voters. But I am 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.”

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., speaks during last year’s debates over the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Newhouse voted to impeach the president. (House Television via AP, file)

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., speaks during last year’s debates over the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Newhouse voted to impeach the president. (House Television via AP, file)

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican representing Washington’s 4th District in Eastern Washington:

“A vote against impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed. Our country needed a leader, and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.”

Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat representing Washington’s 9th District:

“ … There is no question that President Trump incited this violence starting with his perpetual lies about the presidential election, encouraging his supporters the morning of the attack, and utterly failing to quell violence and respond sufficiently after the attack had begun.

“ … Trump has demonstrated he is unfit to remain in office a single day longer. Inciting an insurrection in an attempt to maintain power warrants the immediate impeachment of President Trump, also ensuring his disqualification from holding any public office in the future.”

Rep. Marilyn Strickland, a Democrat representing Washington’s 10th District:

“ … Washingtonians, and all Americans, are demanding that every person involved in inciting this seditious insurrection must face the consequences — and that starts with the president. This isn’t just about protecting our democracy for the next few days, we are working to make sure that Trump can never do such grave harm ever again.

“We have much work ahead to heal the wounds that this president has inflicted on the fabric of our nation. The fact that lawmakers from both parties came together to join the American people in demanding justice today is a promising first step in that process.”

Rep. Kim Schrier, a Democrat representing Washington’s 8th Congressional District:

“The President is a danger to our country and a threat to our national security. We had all hoped that Vice President Mike Pence would step up and invoke the 25th Amendment. That would be the most expeditious way to revoke power of the presidency from Donald Trump. Since VP Pence has refused to do this, the House must do its duty to impeach the President. We cannot allow him to hold office any longer and endanger any more lives.”

Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Democrat representing Washington’s 6th Congressional District:

“In my view, there is no question that the President’s actions were impeachable. Like many, I believe the president should resign. Absent that, I believe Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet should remove him. They have failed to uphold their oaths — but I will not fail to uphold mine.”

Ian Davis-Leonard: 425-339-3448;; Twitter: @IanDavisLeonard.

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