Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler

After last week’s attack on the U.S. Capital, which some say was incited by President Donald Trump, Southwest Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler joined the majority in voting “yes” in the second impeachment of the sitting president, articles of which charge Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” 

It’s a decision likely to spark pushback in the county, where about 65 percent of voters cast their ballot for Trump in 2020, and where the Lewis County Republicans offered a significantly less-firm stance on the pro-Trump mob’s attempt to overturn the election.

On the House floor, Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, told members that she rises “to stand against our enemy,” which she characterized as fear.

“I’m afraid of what people will say or think. I’m afraid of being devalued. I’m not afraid of losing my job, but I am afraid that my country will fail. I’m afraid patriots of this country have died in vain. I’m afraid my children won’t grow up in a free country. I’m afraid injustice will prevail. But truth — truth sets us free from fear,” she said. “My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision. I am not choosing a side. I’m choosing truth. It’s the only way to defeat fear.”

The Lewis County Republicans released a statement on Facebook two days after the attack, condemning the violence but falling short of connecting Trump to the incident, instead suggesting that the government’s “failure to bring closure” on baseless election fraud allegations were to blame. The post compares the insurgence — aimed at overturning election results certified in all 50 states — to protests for racial justice this summer, and says out of the group of pro-Trump supporters, “all but a few hundred conducted themselves in an orderly and legal manner.” 

“...a few hundred of them converged on the capitol and, caught up in mob mentality, breached the capitol illegally and violently causing both destruction of property and physical conflict between demonstrators and capital security. These actions exceeded the bounds of peaceful protest and deserve the same condemnation given the illegal actions of liberal protestors.”

The violent attack on the Capitol came after weeks of planning by far-right and extremist organizers on social media platforms, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other intelligence agencies. 

By contrast, in her statement Tuesday night, sixth-term Rep. Herrera Beutler released a statement calling the attack — which led to five deaths — an assault on American democracy incited by Trump.

“The terrorists roamed the Capitol, hunting the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. Hours went by before the President did anything meaningful to stop the attack,” she wrote. “Finally, the President released a pathetic denouncement of the violence that also served as a wink and a nod to those who perpetrated it.”

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

It’s a shift for the Republican, who clings onto the last House Republican seat touching the Pacific. In Congress’ first attempt at impeachment, she voted against both articles, which alleged that Trump obstructed Congress and abused his power, saying the articles lacked credibility. 

In 2016, she refused to vote for Trump after an infamous 2005 clip made its rounds featuring Trump bragging about groping women. 

Herrera Beutler instead wrote in House Speaker Paul Ryan. But in 2020, the congresswoman had a change of heart and threw her support behind the incumbent. 

Although Herrera Beutler represents a purple district, Lewis County voted for her solidly in 2020, awarding her a landslide win over her democratic challenger Carolyn Long.

Lewis County Republicans had not released a statement on the second impeachment attempt as of press time, and chairman Brandon Svenson — also the mayor of Winlock — could not be reached before time of print.

Svenson has MC’d at recent protests organized by Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, a figure who helped lead the storming of the Oregon Capitol last month — a violent altercation that led to four arrests — as well as the storming of Gov. Jay Inslee’s mansion gates last week, which led to some being charged with criminal trespass. 

The House will now decide if and when to send the articles to the Senate for a trial. If convicted by two-thirds of the Senate, he could then be barred from federal office.

 

(19) comments

americandad

What good is impeaching Trump? The protesters were let in by security. Impeach buetler. She’s worried about maternity leave for professional women when JOBS are moving to CHINA, bowing to Indian Tribes and environmentalists go back to the kitchen where you belong and cook me some biscuits!

YourNeighbor

You're nearly there, Jaime! Now, tell them their election wasn't stolen. Make them understand.

Cowlitzfisherman

Like your comments, she too is a looser!

Your Neighbor

It’s spelled loser....

pjim66

she is a disgrace tom the Rep party

Proud Conservative

The best of all worlds is if she announces that she will not run in 2022, that way we can get someone that has a chance, otherwise, congrats Dems! You just won this seat.

Cowlitzfisherman

Agree! They do what's best for them selfs and their next pay check!

llhauer

I applaud Rep. Herrera Beutler for taking this courageous and principled stand. I rarely see eye to eye with her on the issues, but here she is showing real political courage that has become rare in her party. She will no doubt receive massive backlash from constituents and colleagues alike, but many of us here in SW Washington and across the country celebrate her for putting patriotism and truth over partisanship.

HeavyHemi

Why? Courageous? She did nothing for 4 years while the exact same person, self admitted serial rapist and racist rabidly attacked our institutions. ONLY WHEN SHE WAS PERSONALLY THREATENED WITH VIOLENCE DID SHE GET A SPINE. I cannot praise someone for doing THE BARE MINIMUM, years to late. You're more forgiving than I am. She is what she is. I realize you want comity. All that got you with the GOP was a riot and death. The idea that 'don't upset Diaper Don because he might do something worse' is the same as saying don't charge a wife beater because he might get mad and kill her the next time. We cannot forget what they enabled, ever.

YourNeighbor

I withhold my applause. She found her backbone while she was running away from her party's insurgence division. She did the right thing this time, true. I've been waiting to see her do that for years.

Thoughtful Boomer

Thank you, Rep. Herrera-Beutler, for standing up for the Constitution. Over 60 evidentiary hearings have been held re: the 2020 election. Dozens of mostly conservative state and federal judges including the Supreme Court have ruled there is no evidence of fraud. A kind of cognitive insanity has infected the Republican Party. Many Repubs have come to prefer phony conspiracy theories over simple if boring facts. Maybe, too, they were AWOL during those kindergarten lessons about being good sports. We've had 4 years of Republicans telling us the Emperor is wearing new clothes when any child can see he's been clobbering along in a soiled union suit. Stop the lying.

Cowlitzfisherman

She is a looser! She better register as a Dem ...because she is! Maybe Nancy will take her under her wing?

YourNeighbor

To her credit, she can spell "loser".

Cowlitzfisherman

She is a looser! She better register as a Dem ...because she is! Maybe Nancy will take her under her wing?

americandad

Can we give Vancouver to Oregon? We don’t need this Nancy Polosi wannabe.

YourNeighbor

You get the government you deserve. You elected her, didn't you? Stings, doesn't it? She is not the problem here though, remember that. She did what she was supposed to do, at long last. You, my friend, driving her to do otherwise, that is the problem.

Thoughtful Boomer

Rep. H-B has taken a stand against murder, mayhem, and an attempt to overturn a fair election by spoiled, whiney, nasty thugs who seem to think the world owes them because they are white and (mostly) male. If this is how you think and teach your children, God save us from "American" dads.

APintofSheep

Her vote on this issue is irrelevant. Trump was going to be impeached. The problem isn’t with her anyway. The problem is that too many elected officials have been in power for too long. We, the people, should campaign for term limits. Term limits will help rid congress and the senate of lifetime politicians who wield their power with impunity. Very few of them care or even know what it is like to be middle class or poor. They’ve lost touch with reality. Term limits. It needs to happen.

fordfamily

She misquoted scripture.. It's the "knowledge of the Truth that sets men free."

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