GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler Explains Why She Backed Donald Trump Impeachment

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler has explained her decision to vote in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump in a long Twitter thread, citing the president's own comments on social media.

Beutler, a Republican who represents Washington's 3rd congressional district, wrote a series of tweets late on Thursday, ostensibly aimed at voters in her own community.

"In conversations w/residents about this week's impeachment vote, some are unclear on what transpired before & during that involved President Trump. Here are the indisputable and publicly available facts," she said.

Beutler said Trump "helped organize the January 6 rally" that preceded the riot and quoted from the president's own tweets where he made unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.

"For months, he insisted the election had been stolen and consistently urged people to "fight" in order to change the results: "WE HAVE JUST BEGUN TO FIGHT!!! (Tweet, Dec. 12)" Beutler wrote.

She focused on Trump's comments about Vice President Mike Pence and how some of the rioters were looking for him. The vice president had been presiding over the final stage of the 2020 election but was taken from the chamber when the Capitol was breached.

Many coming to the rally did intend to fight, with physical violence. Leading up to the rally, specific threats were numerous. Hundreds of TikTok videos promoted violence. Thousands of used hashtags promoting a second civil war.

— Jaime Herrera Beutler (@HerreraBeutler) January 15, 2021

"He [Trump] led Americans to believe that Mike Pence could overturn the Electoral College results, even though the VP does not have that power. On Jan. 5 he tweeted, 'The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,'" Beutler wrote.

Beutler highlighted Trump's words at the "Save America" rally where he told a crowd of his supporters to "fight like hell."

"Many coming to the rally did intend to fight, with physical violence. Leading up to the rally, specific threats were numerous. Hundreds of TikTok videos promoted violence. Thousands of used hashtags promoting a second civil war," she went on.

Beutler said Trump hadn't taken "any action to curb the threats" and noted the president tweeted criticism of the vice president while "the riot was in full swing & a mob was in the Capitol hunting Mike Pence." She also shared videos of the riot to underline her point.

"The commander in chief's primary job is to protect U.S. citizens. While this mob hunted for Pence, who had fled to a secure location, the only action we know the president took was calling GOP Senators, seeking their support to delay the Electoral College certification," Beutler said.

"Hours after the Capitol was breached, the president released a pathetic video denouncing the violence but telling the perpetrators 'I love you,' and 'you are special.'"

Beutler was one of 10 House Republicans who voted with Democrats to impeach Trump. She announced her intention before the House met on Wednesday. Beutler won re-election in 2020 by around 13 percent.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) questions Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta as he testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Labor Budget for Fiscal Year 2020, on Capitol Hill on April 3, 2019 in Washington, DC. Beutler has explained her decision to back impeachment on Twitter. Al Drago/Getty Images