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Ohio GOP calls on Rep. Anthony Gonzalez to resign for voting to impeach Trump

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The leadership of the Ohio Republican Party has censured Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and is calling for him to resign from Congress for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump.

On Friday, the party's central committee adopted two resolutions — the first censuring Gonzalez and nine other Republican representatives for "their votes to support the unconstitutional, politically motivated impeachment proceeding against President Donald J. Trump." The second resolution, which narrowly passed, called on Gonzalez to resign, WCMH-TV reported.

Gonzalez, a former NFL wide receiver, is currently serving his second term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Ohio's 16th Congressional District. He was one of 10 Republican House members to vote in favor of impeaching Trump after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He is now facing a primary challenge from Max Tiller, a former Trump aide who is running with an endorsement from the former president.

The resolution censuring Gonzalez called the impeachment — which was tried in the U.S. Senate after Trump had left office — "meritless, unprecedented, unconstitutional and purposeless."

At the time, Gonzalez explained his vote, saying, "The President of the United States 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.

"During the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present. These are fundamental threats not just to people's lives but to the very foundation of our Republic," he said.

"When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the President's lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment."

Two of the prominent Republican candidates running to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in the U.S. Senate came out in support of the Ohio GOP's decision.

Jane Timken, who served as the state party chairwoman before stepping down to run for Senate, said she was in full agreement with Gonzalez's censure.

"As President Trump's hand-picked Party Chair who traveled 150,000 miles across Ohio supporting his agenda, I fully agree with the censure of Anthony Gonzalez," she tweeted. "The impeachment was a sham that betrayed the Constitution and went against Ohioans' interests."

Former state treasurer Josh Mandel, who is running against Timken in the GOP Senate primary, criticized her for not censuring Gonzalez sooner.

"Tomorrow the Ohio Republican Party will finally vote to censure Anthony Gonzalez for his vote on the sham impeachment of President Trump," said Mandel. "Question: Why did Jane Timken refuse to censure Gonzalez when she was Chairman? She clearly had time to do so. So what's the real reason?"

Gonzalez is not the only pro-impeachment Republican to face backlash from his state's party. In February, the Wyoming Republican Party officially censured Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for her vote to impeach Trump. Now it appears that Cheney will be ousted from Republican leadership in the House, demonstrating that the political future of Trump-critical Republicans looks bleak.

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