I followed the whole debate, went through the vote with a fine-tooth comb and made some initial comments, which are listed below.
* 10 : In the end, 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump. That’s it: Liz Cheney (Wyoming), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington), John Katko (New York), Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), Fred Upton (Michigan), Dan Newhouse (Washington), Peter Meijer (Michigan), Anthony Gonzales (Ohio), Tom Rice (South Carolina) and David Valadao (California).
There is no clear passing line for these positive votes. Meijer is in his first year and Gonzalez is in his second. But Upton is in his 17th year. Semester. Kinzinger and Cheney were openly critical of Trump. Rice and Katko have said little publicly about their thoughts on Trump.
And while Herrera Bottler and Valadao are in contested constituencies, Cheney and Newhouse represent comfortable Republican constituencies.
* Trump’s ploy to limit defections. * Members of the European Parliament debated the impeachment, and just after several Republican members of the House announced they would vote for it, Trump issued a statement on Fox News calling for no violence, no violations of law, and no vandalism of any kind. It’s a statement that elected Republicans have been asking Trump to make for days, and it was made (finally) to stop bleeding in favor of the president and his party in the impeachment vote. Did it work? It’s hard to say, but the relatively small number of Republicans who voted for impeachment – some have speculated that the number could be as high as 20 – suggests that it could have been easy.
* The Republican congresswoman from Wyoming did not speak in the impeachment debate, but her statement Tuesday night that she would support Trump’s impeachment was repeatedly quoted by Democratic speakers as they tried to appeal to the conscience of their Republican colleagues. Meanwhile, several Republicans – including Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, who led the GOP group during the impeachment debate – pushed Cheney out of the leadership because of his stance on impeachment. I think she’s got it all wrong, Jordan said.
*Republican Flip-flop* A week after 138 House Republicans (including the two main House leaders) voted against the Election College results in Pennsylvania – even though there was no evidence of fraud – the main argument against the impeachment of those same Republicans was that it was unfounded because Mr. Trump left office so quickly. What?
* The temperature is NOT reduced: For those wondering if the Capitol building calmed some of the partisan fires, you had your answer Wednesday afternoon. And that was a resounding no. Cory Bush (D), a newly elected representative from Missouri, called Trump a white supremist. Republican speakers have been quick to criticize Democrats for double standards – citing comments by Democratic Representative Maxine Waters of California, who urged her supporters to turn against the Trump administration when they see her in public.