Republican Issa Lone San Diego Congressional Rep To Vote Against Impeachment
KPBS Midday Edition Segments / January 14, 2021
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa was the sole member of the San Diego congressional delegation to vote "no" on impeaching President Trump.
Speaker 1: 00:00 President Donald Trump is the first us president in the country's history to have been impeached. Twice. Us representatives overwhelmingly voted in support of a resolution, finding Trump guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors for inciting violence in the us Capitol on January 6th, yesterday's vote in the house of representatives, followed hours of debate. Here's how speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Speaker 2: 00:24 We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.
Speaker 1: 00:39 House Democrats from California. Once again led the second impeachment charge against president Trump, but they aren't the only key players from the golden state. Most of the States, Republican members of Congress are still among Trump's staunchest defenders. Here's K Q E D. Politics reporter Merissa Lagos'
Speaker 3: 00:57 Congressman Tom McClintock of Roseville did not support attempts to undermine the election last week voting instead to uphold Joe Biden's electoral college victory after a violent mob storm, the Capitol, but on Wednesday, he was among the first to speak out against impeachment.
Speaker 2: 01:11 Think of a more petty vindictive and gratuitous act then to impeach an already defeated president a week before he has to leave office
Speaker 3: 01:22 McClintock spoke through a face covering that red. This mask is as useless as our governor. He said he didn't like the remarks Trump gave to rioters before they marched on the Capitol, but called it simply a fiery speech to partisans San Diego, Republican Congressman Darrel Eissa agrees like many Republicans Eissa acquainted last week's armed attack on Congress with black lives matter protest. Last summer, ISIS says with just days left in the presidency. The question is,
Speaker 4: 01:51 And he clearly isn't the case.
Speaker 2: 01:53 President has acted substantially the same for four years
Speaker 3: 01:57 Of California's 10 GOP members of Congress, only the central Valley's David validates voted for impeachment, but fellow Republican, Kevin McCarthy, the house minority leader whose district borders validates, and who's been a loyal ally of the president. Again, stuck with Trump for a closer look at McCarthy's career. Here's my colleague KQD politics editor, Scott Schaffer.
Speaker 4: 02:19 When Kevin McCarthy spoke on the house floor yesterday, the Bakersfield Republican said president Trump was partly to blame for inciting the insurrection, but he said, impeaching the president again would only divide the country further.
Speaker 2: 02:32 Your stand for some this call for unity may ring hollow, but times like these are when we must remember who we are as Americans and as history shows, unity is not an option. It's a necessity.
Speaker 4: 02:46 In some ways, maintaining unity within his own ranks has been a hallmark of McCarthy's leadership. He's been able to keep moderates in the party, relatively content, uh, and he's been able to keep the more conservative, the more activist
Speaker 5: 03:00 Members of the parties relatively in line as well,
Speaker 4: 03:03 Republican operative, Sean Walsh. He says ever since McCarthy's days in the state assembly, he's used his people skills to rise above the competition.
Speaker 5: 03:12 He's not in your face, he's not threatening. He's not pulling his shoe off and banging it on the table. Um, and you feel pretty comfortable being around him
Speaker 4: 03:21 While attending CSU Bakersfield in the late 1980s, McCarthy worked as a staffer for local Congressman bill Thomas, a moderate Republican McCarthy was able to parlay the relationships and connections. Thomas had to win a state assembly seat in 2002 former Republican campaign strategist. Dan Schnur recalls that McCarthy soon established distance from his political mentor
Speaker 5: 03:45 When he got to Sacramento as an elected official in his own, right? It was clear that he leaned more conservative than Congressman Thomas had
Speaker 4: 03:54 McCarthy soon became the assembly minority leader while Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor Duff sunheim was chair of the California Republican party. At the time he says, McCarthy always found common ground with the more moderate governor,
Speaker 5: 04:08 Never heard a cross word between Kevin and Schwartzenegger because they would kind of work it out and what they agreed on, they kept their commitments.
Speaker 4: 04:18 When Trump got elected, president McCarthy was the top Republican in the house, political strategists, Mike Madrid, who's known him for decades, says McCarthy always keeps his finger on the pulse of his party's base and acts
Speaker 5: 04:31 Accordingly. And I think more than anything that really, I think explains his dramatic shift from being a very moderate reasoned force within the Republican caucus in Washington to kind of want to Trump's main allies,
Speaker 4: 04:44 But now as the president's approval rating sinks and some Republicans jumped ship McCarthy is facing a potential challenge to his leadership Madrid who recently left the Republican party and helped form the anti-Trump Lincoln project says McCarthy is faced with a crucial decision
Speaker 5: 05:01 Stand up and restore, uh, what exists of American democracy or will he continue down the path of playing the political game of politics and undermine the constitution and demonstrate fealty to a failed leader. Who's proven himself a trader
Speaker 4: 05:16 Under McCarthy's leadership house. Republicans picked up 10 seats in November, including four in California. Now says Dan Schnur comes the hard part.
Speaker 5: 05:25 McCarthy's greatest challenge on the path to what he hopes will be the speakership two years from now is being able to convince those Republicans who are still loyal to Trump. That he's one of them while being able to reach out to a broader ideological SLAs of Republican candidates and office holders, who might have become much more uncomfortable with the president's actions over the last several days.
Speaker 4: 05:49 And that will test McCarthy's considerable political skills more than ever. That was K Q E D politics editor, Scott Schaffer Democrats,
Speaker 1: 05:58 Along with 10 Republicans voted to impeach president Trump Democrats, along with 10 Republicans voted to impeach president Trump Darrell. Eissa the only Republican representing San Diego in the house voted against impeachment, San Diego, his other four representatives. All Democrats voted for impeaching president Donald Trump. I'm joined now by USD political science professor, Casey Domingez, who studies the presidency. She joins us with a look at the impact. This vote will have Casey. Welcome.
Speaker 3: 06:28 Hi, thank you so much. As we just
Speaker 1: 06:30 Heard, most of California's Republican representatives voted against impeachment, but there were still 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the president. Did that
Speaker 3: 06:39 Surprise you? Well, first of all, it's, it's worth noting that all the impeachments that have been brought against presidents have been highly partisan. Um, and so there's a little historical footnote here that this is maybe the most bipartisan set of impeachment articles that have been brought in. Of course there was never really a vote in the house to a Patriot Richard Nixon because he resigned, uh, knowing that he, that the vote total would be higher in the Republican party. So in that sense, there are more Republicans who supported this impeachment than, uh, that we've ever seen. Um, and on the other hand, it's still a very partisan process and is not really that surprising, uh, that members of the president's party support him. Although this particular incident is a little, perhaps a little bit surprising,
Speaker 1: 07:24 Right? Uh, what's the significance of California lawmakers, both for and against impeachment in these proceedings?
Speaker 3: 07:30 Uh, well it says something about the fact that there are some places in California, um, that elect Republicans, where there are a lot of Republican voters and, uh, members of the Republican party are judging that their own voters and especially those that support them in primaries, um, are still supporting the president. Um, there's, there's something of a feedback loop there, right? So that there's an expectation that they might face political consequences for going against their party's president. And, uh, you know, there's no way to know whether that's true, but that seems to be the judgment that they're making.
Speaker 1: 08:03 Can you see this second impeachment and the reasons for it affecting president Trump's legacy?
Speaker 3: 08:09 Well, it would certainly be a part of his legacy. We can no longer claim to be going through a peaceful transition of power and to the degree that this impeachment lays the responsibility for that at the feet of the president, you know, that that's a stain on his legacy, for sure. Um, you know, there's, there's certainly the first impeachment as well. And, uh, you know, the, I'm sure the president would like for the economic performance during the first three years of his administration to be part of his legacy, but there's also the pandemic and the, the, the recession that resulted from that. And a lot of division in the country that will certainly go down as part of his, how he gets remembered by history. Hmm.
Speaker 1: 08:46 Remind us what this impeachment means in a practical way.
Speaker 3: 08:50 At the moment, it's a historical footnote that he is the only president to be impeached twice, but, you know, in a, in a more meaningful sense, it opens the door to the Senate trial, which will take place during the Biden administration. And that trial can bring with it, the possibility that he can be barred from running for office in 2024, which would have a big effect on the politics of the next four years and Senate
Speaker 1: 09:12 Journey leader, Mitch McConnell has rejected democratic calls to bring the Senate back immediately to convict president Donald Trump. Why have the Senate trial after Trump is out of office?
Speaker 3: 09:23 Uh, you know, I think, I think it goes to that, that other point about, um, barring him from holding office in the future, uh, and to the degree that McConnell and other Senate Republicans haven't unequivocally said that they're going to vote to acquit him a Senate trial in which he was convicted would really be, uh, a closing the door on his legacy that he, if he was the only president ever to be impeached and convicted. Right.
Speaker 1: 09:48 All right. And do you have any predictions in terms of the outcome of the Senate trial?
Speaker 3: 09:52 Um, well, I think it kind of depends on the kinds of information that are unearthed by the subsequent investigations. Um, but you know, now that there is, there are all these investigations of, uh, what the events and the mechanisms by which people got to the Capitol and what they say that they were listening to, and whether they, you know, blame it on the president in the course of their own trials, whatever comes out may have an impact on how the Senate eventually decides to vote in this case, although you could definitely see Republicans rallying to the president's side. Um, and so if that's the case getting 17 or 18 Republicans to vote to remove him would be, it's certainly a high bar, no matter what,
Speaker 1: 10:31 How do you think the decision to impeach the president just a week before he was set to leave office will impact the next administration's ability to achieve its goals with bipartisan support? Of course,
Speaker 3: 10:42 There's a question about history and, and, uh, the precedent that sat there. And then there's a question about the Biden administration's first hundred days, you know, the, the partisan margins in the Senate are razor thin. The Democrats have taken control because of the Georgia Senate races. Um, but only with the vote of vice-president soon to become a Harris, do they get to control the Senate? And so the Senate needs to still operate on a very bipartisan basis. Um, and there's a lot that the Biden administration wants to do, wants to deal with the pandemic, wants to, um, enact a whole bunch of other legislative agenda items about, uh, jobs and climate change and other things. And, uh, to get all of that going, um, quickly and to maintain, you know, to decide how to direct the attention of the public and the press, that it can make it difficult to do all of those things at once, but managing that will fall to Chuck Schumer in terms of making the Senate work on all those things at the same time to the degree that the Senate is capable of doing that. And it'll be up to Biden to direct the public's attention, uh, in ways that benefit his agenda. And also continue this process of, uh, finishing the impeachment, uh, in the Senate trial. I've been speaking
Speaker 1: 11:54 With USD political science professor, Casey Domingez. Casey, thanks for your
Speaker 6: 11:58 You're. Very welcome. Thanks for asking.