In his first major vote since returning to Congress, David Valadao voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
Valadao (R-Hanford) was one of 10 Republicans — and the only California GOP lawmaker — to favor impeachment. The vote was 232-197. Trump’s impeachment now moves to the U.S. Senate.
Valadao Statement on Vote
Valadao emailed this statement to GV Wire:
“President Trump was, without question, a driving force in the catastrophic events that took place on January 6 by encouraging masses of rioters to incite violence on elected officials, staff members, and our representative democracy as a whole.
“Speaker Pelosi has thrown precedent and process out the window by turning what should be a thorough investigation into a rushed political stunt. I wish, more than anything, that we had more time to hold hearings to ensure due process.
“Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi did not afford us that option.
“Based on the facts before me, I have to go with my gut and vote my conscience. I voted to impeach President Trump. His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.”
He did not speak on the House floor on Tuesday.
Fresno GOP Criticizes Valadao
On Wednesday evening, the Fresno County Republican Party said they “strongly condemns” Valadao’s vote.
“Congressman Valadao’s vote, one of 10 Republican votes, is a slap in the face to those who worked on or donated to the congressman’s recent campaign,” the local GOP said in a news release. “Congressman Valadao’s vote has shocked his constituents. We could have expected the same vote from former Congressman T. J. Cox [sic].”
Valadao Campaigned as Moderate Republican Not Tied to Trump
Valadao returned to Congress by defeating one-term Democratic lawmaker TJ Cox of Fresno in a 2020 rematch of their close, bitterly contested 2018 race.
During his campaign, Valadao stressed that he was interested in solutions and distanced himself from Trump’s far-right positions on immigration.
By voting to impeach Trump, Valadao signaled his independence from two of his longtime Valley allies, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.
But McCarthy, it should be noted, had told Republicans they were free to vote their conscience on Trump’s second impeachment.
Valadao’s 21st Congressional District includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare counties. It is 71% Hispanic, and President-elect Joe Biden won the district by nearly 11 percentage points over Trump.
Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Trump
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois
- Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming
- Rep. John Katko of New York
- Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan
- Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington
- Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington
- Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan
- Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio
- Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina
- Rep. David Valadao of California
McClintock Explains Why He Opposed Impeachment
GOP Rep. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove, who represents California’s 4th District which includes parts of Fresno and Madera counties, opposed Republican efforts to block certification of Biden’s victory the day of the Capitol riots. And he says that Trump was wrong “to set such a confrontational tone” with his speech that day.
Said McClintock in a statement posted on his office’s website:
“I cannot think of a more petty, vindictive, and gratuitous act than to impeach an already defeated President a week before he is to leave office. President-elect Biden’s promise to heal the nation becomes a hollow mockery in the harsh reality of this unconstitutional act.
“God help our Country.”