Ohio Republicans turned on Congressman Anthony Gonzalez Friday, calling on the former NFL wide receiver to resign over his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol.
The resolution passed by the Ohio Republican Party’s central committee, a copy of which was obtained by Cleveland.com, accused Gonzalez of having “betrayed his constituents” and “knowingly and willfully violated his oath of office” by voting to impeach Trump.
“[I]t is obvious Congressman Gonzales [sic] relied on his emotions rather than the will of his constituents or any credible facts or conclusions surrounding the riot event, at best,” read the resolution in part. “[A]t worst, he demonstrated a hidden vendetta against President Donald J. Trump in direct conflict of the will of the constituents that elected him”.
Gonzalez, a former all-Big Ten wide receiver at Ohio State who played for the Indianapolis Colts for five seasons, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
However, following his vote to impeach Trump in February, he issued a statement saying the former president “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 … [and] abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present.”
“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,” Gonzalez’s statement concluded, “I am compelled to support impeachment.”
Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Padchik told The Hill on Friday that the resolution “addresses an unconstitutional, politically motivated process that served no purpose,” adding: “Republicans and Democratic members alike have the right to vote in any way they so choose. This committee also has a right to stand on principle and conviction.”
The committee also passed a separate resolution censuring Gonzalez and the nine other House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who faces a vote on her removal as House Republican Conference chair next week.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) who is retiring after next year’s midterm elections, issued a statement decrying the resolutions and calling Gonzalez “a friend and a dedicated public servant.”
Gonzalez, who was first elected to Congress in 2018, faces a primary challenge from former Trump 2020 deputy campaign manager Max Miller.
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