Wednesday, June 16, 2021
June 16, 2021

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Herrera Beutler noncommittal on new impeachment of Trump

Cantwell, Murray favor removing president from office after riot at U.S. Capitol

By , Columbian staff writer

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, declined to say Thursday whether she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump should House leadership follow through on their intent to draw up articles.

“Impeachment is a grave and consequential action. But so was the attack on the U.S. Capitol yesterday. The president played a role, and I’m working to ascertain the facts needed on what happened in case I need to take this vote,” Herrera Beutler said.

The comment comes less than a day after Herrera Beutler made an impassioned speech on the House floor delivered during the hearing affirming that Joseph Biden had the Electoral College votes to become the next president of the United States. She urged her colleagues to reject “a country of lawlessness, of ‘might makes right,’ of mob rule.”

“Nothing is more important to me than preserving this constitutional republic as a representative,” she said at the hearing, which was delayed until the early hours of Thursday morning after the pro-Trump mob had been cleared from the chamber.

Of the nine representatives from Washington, six of them — all Democrats — have said they would vote for impeachment. Two of the other three, all Republicans, remain silent on the issue.

The senators from Washington, both Democrats, said they would support Trump’s removal through either impeachment or invocation of the 25th Amendment.

“I supported impeaching the president before for his misuse of his office,” Sen. Maria Cantwell said, “And I will support impeachment again for abusing power and attempting to interfere in the election results in Georgia. Promulgating misinformation as he did (Wednesday) about our election system is a threat to our democracy.”

Late Wednesday, Sen. Patty Murray issued a statement urging Vice President Mike Pence to remove Trump after “some of our worst fears about the harm this President is willing to incite were realized.”

She called for an investigation into the breakdown of security that allowed a mob to overrun Capitol law enforcement. Murray also pointed out the discrepancy between how the right-wing protesters were treated, compared with other activists in the past who were removed from the building by force.

“The insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol today should be held fully accountable for their actions under the law. So should the president. The most immediate way to ensure the president is prevented from causing further harm in coming days is to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office. As history watches, I urge Vice President Pence and the president’s cabinet to put country before party and act,” Murray said.