GOP Rep. Meijer on Vote to Impeach Trump: I Put Country First Rather Than My Political Career
Representative Peter Meijer (R-MI) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he might not get re-elected because he voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
However, he argued he put “country first” in doing so.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve even said that your — your vote to impeach, because the president still has such a stronghold on the Republican Party, so many in the Republican Party believe what he said about the election, you say your vote might have been political suicide. That caught the attention of one of the president’s advisers, Jason Miller, who retweeted it as well. Are you concerned you ended your career with that vote?
MEIJER: Oh, I may very well have, but I think it’s also important that we have elected leaders who are not thinking solely about what’s in their individual self-interest, not what is going to be politically expedient, but what we actually need for country. It’s not lost on me that I hold the seat that Gerald Ford held from 1948 to 1973. You know, he committed a courageous act when he pardoned Richard Nixon, but it ended his political career going forward.
You know, I think that is, you know, obviously, don’t want to follow in the footsteps in terms of the next election, but I want to make sure that we have leaders in office who are focusing on, you know, the fact that we’re a nation of laws, not men, and that we’re putting the interest of the country first rather than their own political careers.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Liz Cheney also, like you, voted for the impeachment, called it the greatest betrayal of a Constitution by a president in American history, but she’s facing a lot of blowback from your colleagues, your Republican colleagues in the House. They want to remove her from leadership. Will that happen?
MEIJER: You know, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that those who stood by their principles, like Liz Cheney, that that is not something that is punished. I know there’s a division that has already occurred. We need to address some of the issues that we have within, you know, the congressional Republican conference. But I’ve been very impressed by the leadership that Liz Cheney has shown. We differ on many issues, but in terms of somebody who is putting the best interest of the country forward, she has demonstrated that in her actions over the past two weeks.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it time for the Republican Party to move on from President Trump?
MEIJER: I think it’s time that we acknowledge that what happened on January 6th was a betrayal of what had been accomplished over the past four years, that it was a culmination of a politics that had all too often, you know, fanned flames rather than focusing on building and governing. You know, the president brought some necessary energy. He brought some necessary ideas. He shook the tree. He was a change agent. The challenge was that he didn’t know when to stop, and he didn’t draw a line.
And, to me, political violence is the line that we must draw. We’ve seen that outgrowth on my side of the aisle. But that’s something that has become all too common, the threats, intimidation, violence more broadly. You know, this all goes back to the fact that too many Americans don’t trust institutions, don’t trust the process that we have on the civil and legal side to resolve their disputes. So while I think we need to move past, you know, those events and, we need to have accountability first and foremost, we also need to commit to resolving our differences through legal processes.
We need to build that confidence in the public that they don’t need to take to the streets; they don’t need to engage in violence to make their voice heard. That’s how we’re going to get through this as a country and make sure we get back to focusing on what matters.