On Jan. 6, Donald Trump, two weeks before the end of his presidency, incited an insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol. Seven days later, the U.S. House of Representatives held the Republican accountable for his misconduct, impeaching Trump on a 232-to-197 vote, and charging the then-president with "incitement of insurrection."
In all, 10 Republicans voted with the Democratic majority. In 1998, five House Democrats voted to impeach Bill Clinton, which was the highest number of impeachment votes ever cast by members of the sitting president's party -- until this year, when Republicans doubled that record.
It's likely that some of those GOP lawmakers hoped that, in time, their votes to impeach Trump would be accepted as the obvious and responsible thing to do given the circumstances. And while history will almost certainly vindicate these Republicans for having put country over party, the short-term fallout is proving to be far more difficult for the group the Washington Post referred to as the "GOP Impeachment 10."
The Ohio Republican Party censured U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and nine other GOP representatives from other states on Friday for voting in February to impeach former President Donald Trump, in a nearly unanimous vote of the powerful central committee.... Along a narrower vote, the committee also approved a second resolution, which hadn't been on the agenda, calling on Gonzalez to resign.
The efforts within the state party was led in part by Bob Paduchik, a Trump adviser and loyalist who now leads the Ohio Republican Party.
To be sure, the odds of Anthony Gonzalez quitting in response to the state GOP's resolutions are poor. But that doesn't make the vote any less extraordinary: The Ohio Republican Party isn't just upset that one of its own members of Congress voted to hold Trump accountable, it also believes Gonzales' career on Capitol Hill should come to an immediate end.
Even if Gonzales votes with Republicans in nearly every instance -- the Ohioan voted with Trump nearly 90% of the time in the last Congress -- according to his state party, the congressman shouldn't even try to serve his constituents anymore.
We might expect to see state parties call for the resignation of sitting members in response to scandals or indictments. But in this case, Gonzales voted to hold a president accountable, which in the eyes of the Ohio Republican Party, is a step that warrants his resignation -- as if featly to Trump is now a prerequisite to public service.
The former president has already thrown his support behind Gonzales' 2022 primary rival -- Max Miller, a former White House staffer -- and when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was asked in February about the former president and support for GOP incumbents, the Republican leader replied, "I don't have a commitment [on] that."
Politico added soon after, "This raises a series of questions about the extent to which the Republican political infrastructure in D.C. help Gonzalez in this primary challenge."