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Two Latino House Republicans, Herrera Beutler and Gonzalez, voted to impeach Trump

NBC News

Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio broke ranks with fellow Latino Republicans in the House and were among the 10 GOP members who voted to impeach President Donald Trump on a charge that he incited and urged on his supporters’ deadly rampage at the Capitol.

“I’m not choosing a side, I’m choosing truth,” Herrera Beutler said on the House floor. “It’s the only way to defeat fear.”

Herrera Beutler, whose father is of Mexican descent, was on the House floor when police barricaded the doors as protesters pounded on them to get in. She said in a video she tweeted that day that every American should be heartbroken.

In a statement the day before the vote, Herrera Beutler described the violent storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6 as an “assault on democracy.”

“The President of the United States incited a riot aiming to halt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next,” said Herrera Beutler. “That riot led to five deaths.”

She criticized Trump for doing nothing to stop the attack and for continuing to call senators in lockdown as the violence raged, seeking their support for a delay in the Electoral College vote certifying President-elect Joe Biden. She called Trump’s denouncement of the violence “pathetic,” saying that it served “as a wink and a nod to those who perpetuated it.”

“The President’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have,” the congresswoman said in the statement.

Herrera Beutler was appointed to represent the southwestern Washington district in 2007. She was re-elected with 56 percent of the vote to a sixth term in November. Trump won her district in 2016 and 2020.

Gonzalez, a former pro football player, joined Congress in 2019 and represents Ohio’s 16th Congressional District in the north central part of the state. Gonzalez was re-elected to his second term in November with 63 percent of the vote. Trump won the district with about 53 percent of the vote.

Gonzalez was locked in his office for seven hours during the violence, according to a report.

Gonzalez, whose father fled Cuba, said in a statement that as a result of Trump’s actions, “democracy has been shaken.” Gonzalez said he decided to vote for impeachment after speaking with law enforcement and reviewing video before and after the attack. He accused Trump of abandoning his post while members asked for help.

“During the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present,” Gonzalez said.

“When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the President’s lack of response while the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment,” Gonzalez stated.

The House voted 232-197 for impeachment, with four members not voting.

The Republican Latino members who voted against impeachment are Mike Garcia of California; Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Gimenez, Brian Mast and Maria Elvira Salazar, all of Florida; Nicole Malliotakis of New York; Tony Gonzales of Texas; and Alex Mooney of West Virginia.

The GOP votes are 10 more than in the first impeachment of Trump last January, when Republicans unanimously voted against impeachment. The 10 votes for impeachment are also the most from a president’s own party in the four times the House has held a presidential impeachment vote.