WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside became the second Washington congressmember Wednesday, and the sixth Republican House member, to come out in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump for the second time.
Newhouse, whose 4th District encompasses Grant, Okanogan, Douglas, Yakima, Franklin, Benton, and Adams counties, was applauded by Democrats as he announced his vote in the House of Representatives floor debate on the articles of impeachment. The articles, adopted by the House today 232-197, charge Trump with incitement of insurrection over the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
Newhouse ultimately became one of 10 Republican House members to vote for impeachment Wednesday afternoon. He said by addressing a mass rally near the Capitol that day and tweeting out further rebukes to Vice President Mike Pence and others over his November loss to President-elect Joe Biden, Trump “misinformed and inflamed a violent mob” and catalyzed violence that killed a Capitol Police officer, damaged offices in the House and Senate, and led to at least three other deaths among the rioters.
“Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option,”
Newhouse said in a press release issued in tandem with his floor statement. “A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed.
“Our country needed a leader, and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.”
U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, the 8th District’s Democratic congressmember, voted for impeachment as expected. Her district includes Chelan and Kittitas counties, as well as the city of East Wenatchee.
In a press statement, Schrier said Trump “fanned the flames, and then when given the opportunity to ask the violent, seditious mob storming the Capitol to back off and go home, he said he loved them and continued to spread the lies that the election was rigged and that he won.
“The President is a danger to our country and a threat to our national security,” Schrier said. “… We cannot allow him to hold this office any longer and endanger any more lives.”
Newhouse and Schrier were in the House when insurrectionists, after a “Stop the Steal” rally held nearby, overwhelmed on-duty Capitol and D.C. police, broke through locked doors and windows, and fanned out into House and Senate chambers and offices. Investigators found explosive devices planted on public streets not far from the Capitol. More than 160 criminal cases related to the incursion have been opened, and more than 70 people arrested.
Newhouse remained locked down in a secure area of the Longworth Office Building during the violence, along with staffmembers and his wife, lobbyist Joan Galvin.
Earlier in the saga of Trump’s election loss — while the defeated president repeated baseless claims of voter fraud and his campaign and allies launched multiple failed lawsuits — Newhouse signed an amicus brief with 125 other Republican congressmembers to support a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn presidential election results in key swing states.
The suit, later turned down by the U.S. Supreme Court for lack of standing, sought to argue that mail-in and early voting procedures in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania were unconstitutional. Overturning the election in those states would have awarded the presidency to Trump over Biden.
Newhouse’s full remarks on the House floor follow:
“Madame Speaker, this is a sad day in our Republic, but not as sad or disheartening as the violence we witnessed in the Capitol last Wednesday. We are all responsible. My colleagues are responsible for not condemning rioters this past year, like those who barricaded the doors of the Seattle police department and attempted to murder the officers inside.
“Others, including myself, are responsible for not speaking out sooner, before the president misinformed and inflamed a violent mob who tore down the American flag and brutally beat Capitol Police officers. Madame Speaker, we must all do better.
“These articles of impeachment are flawed, but I will not use process as an excuse. There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions. The president took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Last week, there was a domestic threat at the door of the Capitol, and he did nothing to stop it.
“That is why, with a heavy heart and clear resolve, I will vote yes on these articles of impeachment.”