Upton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents

Greg Nash

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) became the first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents on Wednesday, following the House impeachment of President Trump. 

Upton previously voted to impeach former President Clinton in 1998.

Upton was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump this week for “incitement of insurrection” after a pro-Trump mob attacked and vandalized the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The Michigan representative joined GOP Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Tom Rice (S.C.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), John Katko (N.Y.), Peter Meijer (Mich.), Dan Newhouse (Wash.) and David Valadao (Calif.) in supporting the single article of impeachment against Trump. 

Out of those Republicans, only Upton was in the House during the impeachment proceedings for Clinton that revolved around the former president denying a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

“Both were sad days, but I followed the rules set by our founding fathers and the oath I took,” Upton said in a statement to The Hill on Thursday.

Upton voted in favor of three of four articles of impeachment against Clinton, agreeing with all except the allegation that the president abused his power. Two of the articles he supported — alleging perjury in front of a grand jury and obstruction of justice — ended up passing the House. 

Five Democrats voted in support of at least one article of impeachment against Clinton: former Reps. Virgil Goode (Va.), Ralph Hall (Texas), Paul McHale (Pa.), Charles Stenholm (Texas) and Gene Taylor (Miss.). None were still serving in the House during either impeachment of Trump.

The Senate ended up acquitting Clinton of both articles in 1999.

During Trump’s first impeachment proceedings — which centered around accusations that the president asked Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election in exchange for military aid — none of the Republicans in the House supported the articles alleging abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the only GOP senator who voted to convict Trump on one of the articles, allowing for the president’s acquittal in the Senate.

The Senate trial for Trump’s second impeachment is expected to take place after President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20. At least 17 Republican senators would need to vote with the 50 Democratic senators for Trump to be convicted.

Supporters of the president violently attacked the Capitol last week after Trump encouraged them “to show strength” and “fight like hell” in their opposition of the Electoral College results.

The attacks, which resulted in five deaths, temporarily stalled Congress’s certification of Biden’s election win.

Updated at 2:50 p.m.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Anthony Gonzalez article of impeachment Articles of impeachment Bill Clinton Capitol Capitol breach Capitol raid Capitol Riots Clinton impeachment Dan Newhouse David Valadao Donald Trump Donald Trump Impeachment Fred Upton Impeachment Jaime Herrera Beutler Joe Biden John Katko Liz Cheney Mitt Romney Ralph Hall Tom Rice

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