But Trump critics in the Republican Party tend not to stay in office for very long.
Four have retired; six are running or are likely to run for reelection, all of them facing primary challengers because of their impeachment vote — including some endorsed by Trump. Those primaries are happening this summer, and we’ll update this with results. At least one congressman, Tom Rice of South Carolina, has lost his reelection to a competitor who Trump backed.
The intraparty battle over Trump’s impeachment will next play out this spring and summer, in Republican congressional primaries, before the party tries to take back control of Congress in November’s midterm elections. Here’s what happened to the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the former president on his way out the door.
RUNNING FOR REELECTION
Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.)
What she said then: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. I will vote to impeach the President.”
What she’s up to now: Cheney is the most outspoken, defiant Republican in Congress when it comes to Trump. What happens in her closely-watched race this year could determine whether the Republican Party has any room for Trump critics.
After voting for his impeachment, Cheney agreed to serve on a committee Democrats put together to investigate the former president’s role in the Jan. 6 attack; she’s the committee’s vice chair. She’s also running for reelection, even though her party has kicked her out of leadership, censured her and backed a pro-Trump primary challenger, Harriet Hageman. Wyoming only has one congressional district, and Trump won the state in 2020 with nearly 70 percent of the vote. Cheney, like many of the Republicans on this list running for reelection, is outraising her primary challenger. Incumbency has its advantages, even if you have a target on your back.
“I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump,” Cheney said in a statement after the Republican National Committee censured her. “History will be their judge. I will never stop fighting for our constitutional republic. No matter what.”
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.)
What she said then: “I believe President Trump acted against his oath of office, so I will vote to impeach him.”
During the impeachment, she shared that the top House Republican, Kevin McCarthy, relayed to her a conversation he had with the president on Jan. 6, when McCarthy asked Trump to stop the rioters. Herrera Beutler said that Trump told McCarthy, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” She offered to testify in the Senate’s trial and urged other Republicans with knowledge of this and similar conversations to come forward.
What she’s up to now: Herrera Beutler supported an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack; when that failed, she opposed the current commission, made up largely of Democrats, saying it was too partisan. Her local Republican Party has censured her for her impeachment vote. And she’s attempting to win reelection in a district she’s held for more than a decade. Trump backed a challenger to her, Joe Kent.
Rep. Peter Meijer (Mich.)
What he said then: “The President betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the violent acts of insurrection last week.”
What he’s up to now: He’s running for reelection. He told the Atlantic he wanted to stay in office to effect change in the Republican Party. He just got to Congress last year. But it’s hard. He’s faced death threats and has several primary challengers, including one endorsed by Trump, former Trump administration official John Gibbs. “I just feel lonely,” he said. If he gets through the primary, he’ll face Democrats determined to unseat him in this battleground district.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (Wash.)
What he said then: “A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital.”
What he’s up to now: Newhouse is running for reelection in a conservative farming district in Washington. Most county GOP leaders in Newhouse’s district demanded that he resign over his impeachment vote, calling it “indefensible.” He’s got several primary challengers, including one endorsed by Trump — Loren Culp, the state party’s 2020 gubernatorial nominee — who has questioned legitimate election results and public health advice about the coronavirus. Newhouse has tried to keep his head down and focus his time and energy on local issues far removed from impeachment drama. “For those who disagree with me on this issue, I hope they will remember my lifelong support for conservative causes and values,” he said shortly after the impeachment.
Rep. Tom Rice (S.C.) (lost)
What he said then: “I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But this utter failure is inexcusable.”
What he’s up to now: He decided to run for reelection in his solidly Republican district, where he emphasizes that he voted for Trump almost all of the time. But Trump supporters there didn’t forget his one vote against the president, and in South Carolina’s June primary, he lost his primary to state Rep. Russell Fry, who Trump endorsed. The signs were there for months: In February, Rice was met with protesters during a campaign stop, reports the Sun News. “You betrayed us. Resign now! Or we will fire you,” one sign read. He’s got several serious primary challengers, one of whom has Trump’s endorsement, state Rep. Russell Fry. Rice has been defiant, saying before his primary: “If we are going to have a scenario where the president can try to intimidate Congress into doing what he wants, well shoot, we might as well have a monarchy,” Rice told NPR, later adding: “And I guess if the consequences are that the people think what happened is okay, then I guess, you know, I’m not that guy.”
Rep. David G. Valadao (Calif.)
What he said then: “I voted to impeach President Trump. His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.”
What he’s up to now: His California district has been redrawn to become slightly friendlier to Democrats. And he’s facing a primary challenger on the right because of his impeachment vote. But he’s still running for reelection. Interestingly, unlike some others on this list, Valadao has the support of House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. In June, California held it’s all-party primary, where the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, move onto the November election. A Democrat has advanced as the No. 1 vote-getter, but Valadao’s future is uncertain. His race still hasn’t been called, and either he or someone else in the primary will make it to the November election.
Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.)
What he said then: “Enough is enough. The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next.”
What he’s up to now: Upton is one of the longest-serving members of Congress on this list, winning his seat in 1986. After his impeachment vote, he said he received death threats. For nearly a year, he said he was still deciding whether to run again. He was running ads and raising money as if he were running again, though his district was redrawn to force him to compete with another Republican incumbent (who didn’t vote for Trump’s impeachment). Trump has also endorsed a primary challenger in the race, state Rep. Steve Carra. Upton announced his decision to retire on Tuesday, surprising much of the political establishment. “Even the best stories has a last chapter. This is it for me,” he said.
“I don’t have any qualms about my vote — and neither do any of the other nine [House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump],” he told The Post’s Early 202 in January.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.)
What he said then: “There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”
What he’s up to now: Alongside Cheney, Kinzinger is the only other Republican serving on the Jan. 6 committee. The RNC censured him for his work. Like Cheney, he’s also been a vocal critic of Trump even after the former president left office. But unlike Cheney, Kinzinger is leaving Congress at the end of this year, saying Washington has become too partisan. His district also was redrawn by Illinois Democrats, drawing him into competition with another House Republican (who did not vote to impeach Trump). Kinzinger said he wouldn’t be leaving politics entirely, promising “a broader fight nationwide.”
Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio)
What he said then: “When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6, including the President’s lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment.”
What he’s up to now: Gonzalez was the first to retire rather than face a brutal primary battle after his impeachment vote. (A former Trump aide announced that he’d challenge Gonzalez and got Trump’s endorsement.) But Gonzalez made sure to share how he felt about Trump on his way out: Trump “is a cancer on the country,” he told the New York Times, saying that he’d spend his political energy stopping Trump from being president again. In that interview, Gonzalez also mentioned that, after his impeachment vote, he and his family needed security after arriving at Cleveland’s airport.
Rep. John Katko (N.Y.)
What he said then: “To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President.”
What he’s up to now: He’s retiring at the end of his term, saying he wants to spend more time with his family. But Democrats also redrew his district to become a lot more Democratic-leaning.
What about the Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump?
Seven Republican senators voted to convict Trump in his trial in the Senate, a remarkably high amount. But two are retiring — Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.
And because senators serve six-year cycles, only one of the seven — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — faces voters this November. She’s got a primary challenger, whom Trump has endorsed: former statewide official Kelly Tshibaka.
But Alaska now has an open primary and ranked-choice voting, meaning voters choose their candidates regardless of party, then they rank them in the general election by favorite. That often benefits politicians with a wide array of support, like Murkowski has, rather than just a candidate with one niche.
This has been updated with the latest news. Kevin Uhrmacher contributed to this report.