SAN JOSE, Calif. - Ten House Republicans voted to impeach President Trump. Some political experts said Wednesday’s vote reflects a deep division within the Republican Party.
"It’s disappointing," said San Francisco Republican Party Chairman John Dennis. "I wish they hadn’t done it. I wish the whole incident hadn't happened."
GOP leaders in the Bay Area reacted Wednesday after the House including 10 Republicans voted to impeach President Trump a second time. They called the proceedings unnecessary and divisive.
"An impeachment seven days from inauguration doesn’t bring the country together," said Santa Clara County Republican Party Chairman Shane Patrick Connolly. "It was a very divided vote."
"It wasn't unusual that there were so many Republican votes but the fact that there were double digit Republicans voting for impeachment is noteworthy," said Sonoma State Political Science Department Chair David McCuan.
McCuan said it’s noteworthy because none of those Republicans supported the first impeachment and it’s the highest bipartisan vote against a president ever.
With mid-terms next year and the presidential election in 2024, Republicans face a fork in the road to support Trump or move away from him.
Senate Republicans are grappling with how to proceed. Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a key player, has not publically stated whether he supports a conviction.
McCuan thinks it’s a long shot.
"He knows the influence that he wields, he knows the importance that it has but he also wants to turn the page on Donald Trump the individual but not necessarily Donald Trump’s movement of Trumpism."
McCuan said President Trump was able to bring different factions of Conservatives together and make the party his own. Now that identity is going away. McCuan said the brand of conservatism is unclear.
"I’m a very strong Donald Trump supporter," said Ed Iskander of Benicia. "I think he’s been a terrific president in many ways."
Iskander is unphased. His allegiance to the party and the president remains strong.
"As Republicans we need not attack those 10 and not attack the others, we need to unify," said Connolly.
Even if President Trump is not convicted in the Senate, it’s unclear if he will be on the ballot in 2024. McCuan said it’s unlikely because of the president's response to the events on January 6. However, Dennis called Trump a formidable candidate.