For only the third time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives impeached the president of the United States. Wednesday’s votes fell almost entirely along party lines for two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, both related to his effort to pressure Ukraine into investigating a Democratic political rival.
Washington’s 10-member House delegation split along party lines, with the seven Democrats voting to impeach and the three Republicans opposing impeachment.
Here’s what the members said about their votes.
Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina: “No president can be allowed to pressure a foreign country to interfere in our elections. His behavior has jeopardized the integrity of our elections, put our national security at risk and placed his personal interests above those of the American people and our allies. His obstruction has prevented the House from conducting its constitutional duties of oversight of the executive branch.”
Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett: “Based on [the House impeachment report], on previous statements and on precedent, I will be voting in favor of both articles. As a member of Congress, it is my duty to defend the Constitution and preserve the longstanding principles of integrity and accountability. My decision to support impeachment is, and has always been, a decision of conscience based on considering the lasting impact of unchecked executive power.”
Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor: “As I’ve said previously, this entire process is disruptive, and it may further polarize a country that is already far too divided. But in my view, these incidents should not be dismissed based on politics, party biases, or the fear of some predicted outcome. My approach on this is not grounded in politics or partisanship but rather a belief that simply ignoring these allegations sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents — and sends a frightening message regarding our adherence to the rule of law.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle: “The facts are clear: Donald Trump abused the power of the office of the presidency to pursue his own personal, political gain. And leveraged critically needed, congressionally approved military aid to coerce a fragile, foreign ally to interfere in our elections. This is not hearsay. The president was the first and best witness in this case. The president admitted to his wrongdoing and corrupt intent on national television. The president IS the smoking gun.”
Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish: “I did not come to Congress to impeach the president. However, the evidence before us, including from the president himself, is serious. The president abused the power of his office to sway the 2020 election in his favor. He put his own political interest above the interests of our nation. And then, when pressed for more information, he refused to cooperate or let key witnesses testify. No one is above the law. On my first day in office, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our country. Given all the facts before us, impeachment is the only remedy. No future president should ever believe that this was acceptable behavior.”
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue: “As always, I will vote with the interests of the constituents of Washington’s Ninth District at the top of my mind. They deserve better than a president who actively undermines our electoral process and repeatedly jeopardizes our national security. They deserve a president who respects, rather than corrupts, his or her office. This president has defied our system of checks and balances by ignoring congressional subpoenas and obstructing Congress. By pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political opponent, he has blatantly abused the power of the presidency.”
Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia: “Over the last three months, we’ve been treated to a Gatling gun of lies. But here’s the big, inescapable truth: the president did it … Anyone looking at the facts can see that what happened was an abuse of power. Anyone looking at the facts can see that what happened was unethical. Anyone looking at the facts can see that what happened was just plain wrong.”
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Vancouver: “The obstruction of Congress article is the least credible of the two. Congress and the White House disagreed over Congress’s right to compel testimony from White House officials, so some White House officials exercised their right to judicial review of the congressional subpoenas. That’s how our system of checks and balances works, and it’s not at all uncommon for the White House and Congress to take their disputes to court …
“The second article on abuse of power charges the president with ‘corrupt motives,’ but here again, efforts to prove the president’s motives have been defeated by the lack of firsthand testimony caused by Democratic leadership’s rushed timeline … The president’s motives for his actions remain unproven.”
Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside: “House Democrats have presented a flawed process and have failed to provide evidence of the president’s wrongdoing, yet they are moving forward with impeachment, one of Congress’ most serious charges. The people’s House should be better than this, and the American people deserve more.”
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane: “I, like a lot of my colleagues, believe this has been a process driven by politics, unfortunately. The Democrats have not made the case. They have not proved the crime and I believe much of this is a sham.”
The interactive graphic below shows which House members support each article of impeachment.
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