We applaud U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River for voting to impeach President Donald Trump on Jan. 13. Gonzalez, who represents House District 16, was one of 10 Republicans to vote in favor of impeachment and the only GOP member of Ohio’s delegation to do so.
Americans and TV viewers worldwide were transfixed the afternoon of Jan. 6 as a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol after being egged on during a rally by Trump, who deceived them into believing he had won the 2020 presidential election. The “Stop the Steal” crowd’s act of domestic terrorism left five dead (including a Capitol police officer), dozens injured and the nation shaken.
Shocking videos have emerged in the two weeks since the Capitol attack, showing white supremacists prepared for battle on the House floor, in lawmakers’ offices and, as we learned later, within feet of the vice president and his family while parading through the halls and chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” Trump had also deceived his followers into believing Pence could overturn the Nov. 6 election results, a power not granted by the U.S. Constitution.
The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump for incitement of resurrection, making him the only U.S. president in history to be impeached twice. Besides Gonzalez, Republican congress members voting yes were Lynn Cheney of Wyoming, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Peter Meijer and Fred Upton of Michigan, David Valadao of California and John Katko of New York.
Gonzalez explained his vote in a statement Jan. 13 and in an email to constituents Sunday he expressed hope of regaining the trust of supporters who questioned his conservative credentials and said he had let them down.
“The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution,” his statement reads in part. Acknowledging the casualties and the president’s response, Gonzalez wrote. “During the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present. These are fundamental threats not just to people’s lives but to the very foundation of our Republic.”
Frankly, we are shocked and disappointed that the vote to impeach wasn’t a unanimous “yes.” We can’t imagine why lawmakers whose lives were endangered by an out-of-control mob and a complicit president are prescribing a vague remedy of “unity” instead of demanding that the president be held accountable.
Thankfully, many of the insurrectionists have been arrested and more arrests are expected. Whether to convict Trump and prevent him from ever holding elective office again will be up to the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, a new president and vice president are taking office today with much work to be done. May God protect President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the United States of America.