91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

After Capitol insurrection, some Michigan Republicans may join Democrats on House impeachment vote

U.S. Capitol building in front of a blue sky

Just over a year ago President Donald Trump told a crowd of supporters in Battle Creek, that, “Tonight the House Democrats are trying to nullify the ballots of tens of millions of patriotic Americans.” While he was onstage, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach him.

After a violent pro-Trump extremist mob led an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday and repeated attempts by the president to overturn a free and fair election, the House is expected to vote to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time.

When President Donald Trump was impeached in 2019, Michigan Democrats were joined by Representative Justin Amash—who left the Republican party to become an independent. This year, following the Capitol attack, Republican colleagues could join the Democrats to impeach Trump.

In a tele-town hall with constituents Tuesday night Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin said she’s had heart to hearts with two Republicans in the Michigan delegation.

Slotkin did not name those Republicans but said they’re in the same place she was in December of 2019, wondering if voting to impeach the president would end her political career. But, she says, after a mob stormed the Capitol last week ending division can’t only be tackled by Democrats.

“We can only do that if we accept what happened, and if we have accountability, and decide that we’re better than this as a nation and we’re going to do something about it,” said Slotkin.

‘Enough is Enough’

Late Tuesday night, Representative Fred Upton announced he’d join Democrats in voting to impeach the President saying in a statement, “Enough is enough.”

Upton said the President characterizing his remarks last Wednesday at a rally on the Ellipse as “totally appropriate” was a bridge too far, adding, “This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution.”

In an interview with FOX 17, newly elected Republican Congressman Peter Meijer said he is also “strongly considering” impeachment.

Meijer was incensed after the attack on the Capitol. In a scathing video he posted to Twitter Meijer said, “We got to this point because a number of folks, a number of politicians, a number of my fellow Republicans told things they knew were lies. They told people there was stolen election. They told people that if they came out that they could change it, that they could put President Trump in power for a second term.”

He added, “They told them this, knowing that it wasn’t true. They lied, they deceived. They did it either to save their own political skins or to make a quick fundraising buck. It’s contemptible.”

Meijer and Upton co-sponsored a resolution with four other congressional Republicans to censure the President for trying to overturn the election and inciting violence at the capitol.

Most MI Republicans Will Likely Vote Against Impeachment

Still, other members of the Michigan congressional delegation raised doubts without evidence about the election.

After the Wednesday attack, Representatives Jack Bergman, Lisa McClain, and Tim Walberg voted to object to electors in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Weeks before, Republican Representatives Bergman and Walberg, along with Bill Huizenga and John Moolenaar supported a Texas lawsuit that aimed at overturning the election results in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Republican Representative Lisa McClain, spoke on the House floor Tuesday. She condemned violence and said, “words have consequences” and the president “could have done more before” adding, “Impeachment only incites more division. It does not provide unity.”

The House vote to ask Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment was along party lines in the Michigan congressional delegation with all Republicans voting against and all Democrats voting in favor of the measure. Pence has indicated he will not invoke the amendment.

Some House Democrats are also in favor of censuring some of their Republican colleagues, who they say also took part in inciting violence.

Democrat Elissa Slotkin said she supports censuring Republican colleagues who incited violence, but not any of her Republican counterparts in Michigan.

“Do I agree with Representative Walberg, and Representative Bergman and Representative McClain for voting against the outcome of the election with nary a statement about their own elections and the veracity of the elections that elected them,” Slotkin paused before adding, “I’m not happy with it.”

The House reconvened at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Want to support reporting like this? Consider making a gift to Michigan Radio today.

Abigail Censky is the Politics & Government reporter at WKAR. She started in December 2018.
Related Content