U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, said late Tuesday she plans to vote in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning, citing his role in a fatal riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
In a lengthy statement the night before the vote, Herrera Beutler said the president “incited a riot aiming to halt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”
“That led to five deaths. People everywhere watched in disbelief as the center of American democracy was assaulted,” the six-term congresswoman wrote. “The violent mob bludgeoned to death a Capitol police officer as they defaced symbols of our freedom. These terrorists roamed the Capitol, hunting the Vice President and the Speaker of the House.”
Herrera Beutler was the fifth Republican to publicly state intentions to impeach, joining Reps. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, John Katko and Fred Upton.
Trump faces a historic second impeachment following the attack on the Capitol building while lawmakers voted to certify Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump promoted the event for weeks on social media, and told the crowds that day, “You have to show strong. You have to be strong.”
House Democrats on Monday drafted an article of impeachment that accused Trump of “incitement of insurrection.”
Herrera Beutler, who did not object to certifying Biden’s election, described the events that followed as a Capitol “under siege.” Along with other lawmakers, she sheltered in place while people overwhelmed Capitol police and marauded through the halls.
Hours afterward, the congresswoman issued a frustrated statement.
“Is this the American we want to give our children?” she wrote. “A country of lawlessness and mob rule?”
During Trump’s tenure, Herrera Beutler has oscillated somewhat between support and dissatisfaction. She did not vote for him in 2016, saying instead she would write-in Paul Ryan. But she flipped four years later.
She told OPB last fall: “I don’t always agree with him -- I certainly wish he’d stop tweeting,” before adding that she agreed with his policies towards China and the economy.