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Ohio GOP to vote on censuring Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and other Republicans over Trump impeachment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican Party’s not-so-civil war over its members who voted to impeach ex-President Donald Trump opens a new front in Columbus on Friday.

The Ohio Republican Party’s 66-member state central committee has scheduled a Friday vote on a resolution that would censure Rocky River GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and the nine other House of Representatives Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January after he encouraged a riot at the U.S. Capitol that led to multiple deaths.

Republican sources said a central committee member submitted the resolution to censure Gonzalez, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Buetler of Washington, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan, John Katko of New York and David Valadao of California “for their votes to support the unconstitutional, politically motivated impeachment proceeding against President Donald J. Trump.”

A copy of the resolution obtained by cleveland.com describes efforts to impeach Trump as “meritless partisan acts driven by retribution,” and says January’s impeachment process “conducted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats was unfairly expedited – with no hearings or presentation of evidence.”

It also says impeaching a president after his term has concluded “is unprecedented, unconstitutional and serves no purpose beyond further dividing this country,” and that “now is the time for Republicans to unify as a party and uphold the United States Constitution and the rule of law.”

It does not call for any concrete actions to be taken against Gonzalez and the other Republicans, and appears largely symbolic.

A spokesman for Gonzalez’s re-election campaign declined to comment on the resolution. A Twitter statement issued by former Trump aide Max Miller, who has mounted a Trump-supported primary challenge to Gonzalez, said his rival “put himself and the socialists ahead of the Republican Party, our conservative movement, and the voters of his district. It is right for him to be held accountable by the Ohio GOP and come election day, he will be held accountable by the people of this district.”

After the impeachment vote, Gonzalez released a statement that said Trump “helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution:” counting the electoral votes that confirmed Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Trump.

Since the vote, Gonzalez and other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have taken flak from his loyalists, and Trump has sought revenge over the vote. Wyoming’s Republican party voted to censure Cheney, and some Republican House of Representatives members have tried to remove her from her post as House Republican Conference Chair.

When The Hill newspaper asked Gonzalez about the effort to oust Cheney, he said: “If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit. Liz isn’t going to lie to people. Liz is going to say what she believes. She’s going to stand on principle. And if that’s going to be distracting for folks, she’s not the best fit. I wish that weren’t the case.”

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