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North State Congressman Doug LaMalfa voted not to impeach Pres. Trump. What's next?

Michele Chandler James Ward
Redding Record Searchlight

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for a historic second time exactly a week after he incited a mob of supporters to storm the Capitol and try to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s win in the November election. 

Despite assertions from elected officials in both parties that Trump's "Save America" rally on Jan. 6 incited the mob that went on to attack the Capitol, North State Congressman Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, voted against impeaching the president.

The House on Wednesday impeached Trump for inciting an “insurrection” in the form of last week’s attack on the Capitol, a stinging rebuke of the nation’s 45th president as he prepares to depart the White House after four tumultuous years.

The vote to impeach Trump was 232 to 197. 

Ten Republicans broke from their party — and their president — to join Democrats in approving the single article of impeachment. They joined Democrats who asserted that the president should be held accountable and warned of a "clear and present danger" if Congress left Trump in place until Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Trump will leave power next week as the first president in the nation’s 245-year history to be impeached twice, the first time in 2019.

When Congress reconvened after the siege, six Republican senators and 121 Republican House members, including LaMalfa, backed the rejected complaint of Arizona’s electoral vote. LaMalfa also was among 138 House Republicans who last week backed the failed objection of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.

LaMalfa appeared on CNN in December, hours after the Supreme Court's decision not to let Texas challenge the presidential election results in four states, a lawsuit that LaMalfa and more than 100 other House Republicans had supported.

During that program, LaMalfa reiterated his doubts about the Nov. 3 election. He also has used his social media accounts to repeat unfounded allegations about election irregularities.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)

After thousands of the president's supporters swarmed the Capitol last week, LaMalfa released a statement saying violence for any reason is “inexcusable” and must be dealt with “immediately, forcefully and with the full force of the law."

On Tuesday, a day before lawmakers gathered in Washington, D.C. for second vote, LaMalfa made a post on Facebook making it clear that he wouldn't support removing the president. 

"Further dividing our nation by a punitive impeachment vote now won’t unify the country," LaMalfa said in his post. "This effort will not achieve anything constructive, is unlikely to lead to a conviction in the Senate and wastes everyone‘s time."

In his post, LaMalfa wrote that "there simply hasn’t been an impeachable offense that has been committed by the President. Democrat happy talk about unity and healing is not achieved with show votes that inflame division."

LaMalfa, who was at the U.S. Capitol to vote on Wednesday, according to his local office, was expected to be immediately boarding a flight back to California afterwards.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California walks through Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

In leading arguments for impeachment, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, argued the president should be impeached to keep the United States to "be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love," Pelosi said. “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”

In his speech arguing for impeachment, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) echoed Trump's controversial "American Carnage" inaugural address. 

"American carnage started with this president," Panetta said. "A vote for impeachment will stop it for our posterity.”

More:Riot shields, rifles and naps: Photos show National Guard filling Capitol as impeachment hearings begin

Any potential conviction by the U.S. Senate of Trump seems unlikely before the Jan. 20 inauguration of Biden. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican leader would not agree to bring the chamber back immediately, all but ensuring a Senate trial could not begin at least until Jan. 19.

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no GOP votes in the House, 10 House Republicans broke with the party to join Democrats this time, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.

California representatives played a critical role in the historic vote, including one of just 10 Republicans — Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford — voting for impeachment. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks to the chamber at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday.

In leading arguments against impeachment, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) argued impeachment "will further divide the nation and fan the flames of partisan division" and suggested a censure of Trump would be more appropriate. 

More: Kevin McCarthy struggling to balance pro, anti-Trump sentiment in GOP

“The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters," McCarthy said. "He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare),  the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee and an ardent backer of Trump's during probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the president's 2019 impeachment, on Tuesday told Fox News' Sean Hannity that the impeachment vote was "nonsense." 

"Look, the president makes a lot of mistakes," Nunes told Hannity. "All presidents make mistakes, but the bottom line is to do a snap impeachment has real consequences."

Earlier this month, Nunes received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump. 

Here's how all California's 53 U.S. House of Representatives voted on the article of impeachment: 

  • California 1: Doug LaMalfa (R), since 2013:  No 
  • California 2: Jared Huffman (D), since 2013: Yes
  • California 3: John Garamendi (D), since 2009: Yes
  • California 4: Tom McClintock (R), since 2009: No
  • California 5: Mike Thompson (D), since 1999: Yes
  • California 6: Doris Matsui (D), since 2005: Yes
  • California 7: Ami Bera (D), since 2013: Yes 
  • California 8: Jay Obernolte (R), since 2021: No
  • California 9: Jerry McNerney (D), since 2007: Yes
  • California 10: Josh Harder (D), since 2019: Yes
  • California 11: Mark DeSaulnier (D), since 2015: Yes 
  • California 12: Nancy Pelosi (D), since 1987: Yes
  • California 13: Barbara Lee (D), since 1998: Yes
  • California 14: Jackie Speier (D), since 2008: Yes
  • California 15: Eric Swalwell (D), since 2013: Yes
  • California 16: Jim Costa (D), since 2005:  Yes 
  • California 17: Ro Khanna (D), since 2017: Yes 
  • California 18: Anna Eshoo (D), since 1993:  Yes
  • California 19: Zoe Lofgren (D), since 1995:  Yes 
  • California 20: Jimmy Panetta (D), since 2017:  Yes 
  • California 21: David Valadao (R), 2013-2019, reelected 2021: Yes
  • California 22: Devin Nunes (R), since 2003:  No
  • California 23: Kevin McCarthy (R), since 2007:  No
  • California 24: Salud Carbajal (D), since 2017: Yes 
  • California 25: Mike Garcia (R), since 2020: No 
  • California 26: Julia Brownley (D), since 2013: Yes 
  • California 27: Judy Chu (D), since 2009: Yes 
  • California 28: Adam Schiff (D), since 2001: Yes 
  • California 29: Tony Cárdenas (D), since 2013: Yes 
  • California 30: Brad Sherman (D), since 1997: Yes 
  • California 31: Pete Aguilar (D), since 2015: Yes 
  • California 32: Grace Napolitano (D), since 1999: Yes 
  • California 33: Ted Lieu (D), since 2015: Yes 
  • California 34: Jimmy Gomez (D), since 2017: Yes 
  • California 35: Norma Torres (D), since 2015: Yes 
  • California 36: Raul Ruiz (D), since 2013: Yes 
  • California 37: Karen Bass (D), since 2011: Yes 
  • California 38: Linda Sánchez (D), since 2003: Yes 
  • California 39: Young Kim (R), since 2021: No
  • California 40: Lucille Roybal-Allard (D), since 1993: Yes 
  • California 41: Mark Takano (D), since 2013: Yes 
  • California 42: Ken Calvert (R), since 1993:No
  • California 43: Maxine Waters (D), since 1991: Yes 
  • California 44: Nanette Barragan (D), since 2017: Yes 
  • California 45: Katie Porter (D), since 2019: Yes 
  • California 46: Lou Correa (D), since 2017: Yes
  • California 47: Alan Lowenthal (D), since 2013: Yes
  • California 48: Michelle Steel (R), since 2021: No, by proxy
  • California 49: Mike Levin (D), since 2019: Yes
  • California 50: Darrell Issa (R), since 2021: No 
  • California 51: Juan Vargas (D), since 2013: Yes 
  • California 52: Scott Peters (D), since 2013: Yes
  • California 53: Sara Jacobs (D), since 2021: Yes

James Ward covers entertainmentnews, sports and lifestyles for the Visalia Times-Delta/Tulare Advance-Register. Follow him on TwitterGet alerts and keep up on all things Tulare County for as little as $1 a month. Subscribe today.

Michele Chandler covers city government and housing issues for the Redding Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. Follow her on Twitter at @MChandler_RS, call her at 530-225-8344 or email her at michele.chandler@redding.com. Please support our entire newsroom's commitment to public service journalism by subscribing today.