One day after a majority of Senate Republicans voted to acquit former President Trump in his impeachment trial, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) said he would have joined the seven Republicans and 50 Democrats who voted to convict.
Making the rounds on the Sunday TV talk shows, Hogan said Trump should have been held accountable by the Congress for his role in the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“The Democrats made a strong case,” Hogan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think the argument was pretty convincing.”
Hogan said he was “proud” of the 10 Republican members of the House who voted to send an article of impeachment to the Senate and the seven who then voted to convict.
He said they showed the same courage that his father, former Rep. Lawrence J. Hogan Sr. (R-Md.) showed in being the first GOP lawmaker to announce support for the removal of President Nixon in 1974.
“It’s sometimes really hard to go against your base and your colleagues to do what you think is right for the country,” he said. “He paid a price for it immediately, but it’s what history remembers him most fondly for.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper played a clip from an interview that Hogan Sr. gave to WYPR in 2015, in which he described the impact his stance had on his career and personal life.
“I lost a lot of friends, a lot of supporters, a lot contributors by voting against him. And lost the nomination for governor because of my vote against Nixon,” Hogan Sr. said. “Not to say that I would have changed in any way, because I think I did the right thing. But many Republicans at that time were very unforgiving.”
On both shows, the governor predicted there will be a long “battle for the soul” of the Republican Party.
While Trump remains popular with the vast majority of Republicans, he is the only president in U.S. history to have been impeached twice. Even though Democrats fell short on Saturday, the vote was the most bipartisan impeachment tally ever.
“A lot of Republicans are outraged, but they don’t have the courage to stand up and vote that way, because they’re afraid of being primaried, or they’re going to lose their careers,” Hogan said on NBC.
“I think you’ve got to look at what’s good for the country and not worry about the next election or whether you’re going to be elected to something or not.”
A regular presence on the Beltway talk shows over the past year, Hogan is said to be contemplating a run for the White House in 2024. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) is up for re-election in 2022 but so far Hogan has not expressed any public interest in challenging the veteran lawmaker.
“I think there are far more people who agree that we’ve got to move on from Donald Trump, that agree that he was part of inciting this mob at the Capitol, that are disgusted by how he treated Mike Pence as they’re building gallows and talking about hanging Mike Pence,” the governor said on CNN.