8 of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump will not be in Congress next year

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) lost his primaries in Congress on Tuesday, meaning that eight of the 10 House Republicans who endorsed donald trumpThe second political trial will not return to Congress next year.

Their departures, whether forced by voters or by withdrawal, indicate that Trump’s grip on the GOP is as strong as ever, and perhaps even growing, as he weighs another presidential bid in 2024.

Trump has litmus test his Big Lie that the 2020 election was compromised by fraud. Republicans who accept the lie can stay in Trump’s favor. Cheney refused to accept the lie and actively worked against Trump’s efforts, serving on the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

“Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote. I could easily have done the same thing again.” Cheney said on Tuesday. “The path was clear, but it would have required him to accept President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election.”

Cheney had previously been the third-ranking Republican in the House, but was booted from conference leadership team in an internal vote last year. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said then that “our leadership team cannot afford to be distracted from the important work we were elected to do.” The distraction? Truthful statements about Trump trying to steal the 2020 election.

In the initial aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, McCarthy said Trump “took responsibility” for the riots, but in a surprising reversal of attitude, then flew to Florida to be in good hands with Trump, and has since argued that “everyone in the country” is to blame for the mutiny.

The fate of the Republicans who voted to impeach Trump illustrates why McCarthy needs to kowtow to the disgraced former president if he wants to become speaker of the House next year. To get the gavel, McCarthy will need the support of the vast majority of House Republicans, whose voters are largely in thrall to Trump.

Cheney is just the latest pro-impeachment Republican to lose her primary. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Washington), a moderate, was unseated last week by Joe Kent, a Trump-backed candidate. Herrera Beutler revealed in early 2021 that McCarthy had told her about his phone call with Trump on January 6, during which McCarthy assured Trump that it was his own supporters who were looting the Capitol and not Antifa.

“That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said, ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,'” Herrera Beutler said in a February 2021 statement.

Earlier this month, Representative Peter Meijer (R-Michigan)a veteran of the Iraq war, he lost his primary to a Trump-backed candidate amid a furor over Democratic meddling in the race. The campaign arm of the House Democrats had run ads seeking to elevate Meijer’s right-wing denying-election challenger, Jack Bergman. In the end, Meijer lost and then turned around and backed Bergman.

Still, Meijer has lamented the state of his party.

“I can’t tell you the number of times someone has said, ‘You don’t have to believe the election is stolen, the important thing is not to believe it, it’s to say it,’” Meijer. told the New York Times this week. “That’s what a Republican is supposed to do right now.”

Republicans who don’t bend the knee get beaten up. accusing trump Representative Tom Rice (RS.C.)he lost his primary in June to a state representative named Russell Fry, a Trump stooge who says Rice “broke the trust” of her constituents by voting to impeach Trump.

Of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill, four decided to withdraw rather than run for re-election, a challenge they likely would have lost anyway.

Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) he was the first pro-recall Republican to withdraw from seeking another term. Explaining his departure after just two terms in Congress, the former NFL wide receiver cited a desire to spend more time with his family, as well as the “toxic dynamics” in the Republican Party. With Ohio losing a congressional redistricting seat, it’s likely that Gonzalez would have had to prevail over a more pro-Trump colleague in a primary to stay in office.

In October, Representative Adam Kinzinger(Creek.) he chose to withdraw and focus on his PAC leadership, Country First, rather than compete in a primary against another incumbent, Rep. Darin LaHood, after redistricting. Kinzinger complained at the time that “Unit” much was missing from Trump-era politics. Kinzinger and Cheney were the only two Republicans to serve on the January 6 select committee.

Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan)voted to impeach Trump and announced in April that he would retirethough he said his decision had more to do with the way his district was redrawn than his Trump-backed challenger. Rep. John Katko (RN.Y.) what’s more chose retirement and denied Trump had anything to do with it.

Only two pro-impeachment House Republicans advanced to this year’s general election. Representative David Valadao (R-Calif.) he survived a challenge from the right, though not from a Trump-backed candidate. The former president largely ignored the race, and Valadao won the backing of House Republican leaders, including McCarthy.

Representative Dan Newhouse (R-Washington)Meanwhile, he managed to advance to the general election in Washington’s top two primary system despite facing a Trump-backed challenger. There were five other Republican candidates in the race, splitting the field in favor of the incumbent.

Trump, who is under federal investigation for mishandling documents and his attempt to nullify the 2020 election, gloated over Cheney’s loss Tuesday night and repeated his lie that the 2020 election was stolen. His campaign’s legal team has been unable to substantiate any claims of fraud in court, and his own advisers and Justice Department appointees told him the claims were nonsense, but Trump hasn’t let the truth stop him.

“Liz Cheney’s uninspiring concession speech, in front of a ‘small’ crowd in the Great State of Wyoming, focused on her belief that the 2020 presidential election was not, despite massive and conclusive evidence to the contrary. otherwise rigged and stolen,” Trump wrote. in a statement on his social media platform, Truth Social.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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