Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler on Tuesday evening became the fifth GOP House member to announce her support for impeaching President Donald Trump. The House is to vote Wednesday, a week after the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Herrera Beutler, of Vancouver, said in a statement Tuesday that she “believe(s) President Trump acted against his oath of office, so I will vote to impeach him.
“The President’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have,” she wrote. “I understand the argument that the best course is not to further inflame the country or alienate Republican voters. But I am also 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.”
The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a single article of impeachment accusing the president of inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol.
Herrera Beutler’s statement comes almost a week after a mob of Trump supporters started a riot inside the Capitol, interrupting lawmakers during a joint session to certify Electoral College results and confirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. The attack led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer.
After the attack, Herrera Beutler wrote on Twitter that she “was on the House floor as the protestors overran police and pounded on the doors.”
She made a plea for Trump supporters to stand down.
“The reports you are hearing about the chaos, panic and dangerous actions by protestors are not exaggerations,” Herrera Beutler wrote. “I witnessed them. Is this the America we want to give to our children? A country of lawlessness and mob rule?”
Herrera Beutler supported Trump’s reelection last year, after saying she couldn’t vote for him in 2016. She issued no formal statements ahead of certifying the election, but told The Columbian she would vote to uphold the Electoral College results.
On Tuesday, she accused Trump of inciting the riot to “halt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”
“Hours went by before the President did anything meaningful to stop the attack,” she wrote. “Instead, he and his lawyer were busy making calls to senators who were still in lockdown, seeking their support to further delay the Electoral College certification.”
When Trump finally denounced the violence, she added, his statement “served as a wink and a nod to those who perpetrated it.”
Earlier Tuesday, Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican leader, surprised her party when she also announced she would vote to impeach Trump.
“On Jan. 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes,” Cheney, of Wyoming, said in a statement. “The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”
Republicans Joining Herrera Beutler and Cheney on Tuesday were Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton and New York Rep. John Katko.
Staff reporters David Gutman and Jim Brunner contributed to this report.