Ten House Republicans supported Donald Trump’s impeachment after the Jan. 6 attack, and at the time, the tally looked like evidence of a party that was prepared to move on from their failed, defeated president.
The prevailing winds in GOP politics soon shifted in Trump’s favor, and the Impeachment 10 quickly realized that their careers were now in jeopardy. Three members of the contingent faced primary rivals yesterday, and as The New York Times reported, at least one has already been defeated.
The defeat on Tuesday of Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan, the young conservative scion of a supermarket empire who voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump, was another sign that the party’s conservative core is bent on casting out those who have dared to break with Mr. Trump, who has embarked on a revenge tour aimed at punishing his adversaries.
It wasn’t a blowout, but it was enough: With just about all of the votes tallied, the incumbent congressman lost by about four points to John Gibbs, whom the Times described as “a former official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development with a history of firing off inflammatory, conspiratorial tweets.”
This is one of the races in which Democrats intervened in the hopes of helping a seemingly unelectable GOP radical win the primary, ostensibly giving Democrats a pick-up opportunity in one of Michigan’s most competitive congressional districts.
Of course, if the Democrats’ gamble doesn’t pay off, they will have inadvertently helped get yet another far-right conspiracy theorist elected to Congress.
As for the Impeachment 10, before the primary season even began in earnest, four members of the contingent — Ohio’s Anthony Gonzalez, New York’s John Katko, Illinois’ Adam Kinzinger, and Michigan’s Fred Upton — announced their retirements.
And now Meijer, despite a conservative voting record and an impressive background as an Iraq War veteran, has become the sixth member of the Impeachment 10 to learn he won’t be back on Capitol Hill next year.
As for the rest of the group, these are the other four members (in alphabetical order):
- Washington’s Jaime Herrera Beutler is running for re-election in a district in which her local Republican Party formally censured her for holding Trump accountable. She’s facing a right-wing primary challenger who’s received the former president’s endorsement, and while votes from her primary yesterday are still being tallied, the incumbent appears to be faring relatively well.
- Wyoming’s Liz Cheney has been formally rejected by the Republican National Committee, and her House Republican colleagues have endorsed — and extended financial support to — her GOP primary rival. Cheney’s race, which she’s likely to lose, is two weeks away.
- Washington’s Dan Newhouse is facing multiple primary challengers, one of whom has received Trump’s backing. Preliminary tallies suggest he also fared well in his race yesterday.
- California’s David Valadao, whose district supported President Joe Biden in 2020, not only faced a Republican rival, he also found that his district’s lines were redrawn in unfriendly ways. He’s already advanced to the general election, though whether he’s able to keep his seat remains to be seen.
It is quite possible that of the House Republicans’ Impeachment 10, none of these members will be on Capitol Hill in the new year. Watch this space.