U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, Maryland’s sole Republican congressman and a loyal ally of President Donald Trump, skipped Wednesday’s vote to impeach the president on charges of inciting last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
He was the only U.S. representative from Maryland who did not join the majority in the 232-197 vote, which rendered Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice. Ten of Harris’ fellow House Republicans broke party lines to join Democrats in voting for impeachment; he was one of four, all Republicans, who did not vote.
Harris, a physician and six-term Baltimore County Republican, tweeted that the “divisive, hastily called and politically motivated snap impeachment,” was “a waste of time,” and said he instead spent Wednesday caring for patients in his district.
“While I certainly would have voted against impeachment, and the Congressional Record will reflect that, my constituents were better served by my work in the operating room today than by taking part in this pointless exercise,” the Republican congressman wrote.
Conviction and removal of Trump would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate.
Harris was among the Trump allies who voted to contest President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, prompting former campaign contributors to pull back and some to call for his resignation.
Noting the bipartisan majority in favor of impeachment, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat appointed as an impeachment manager, read a letter by Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, who blamed Trump for the insurrection attempt, in a speech on the floor before the vote.
“Beating police officers over the head with fire extinguishers, a bloodthirsty mob attacked the Capitol and invaded this Congress last Wednesday,” Raskin said. “They could have killed us all.”
Here’s how Maryland’s representatives voted on impeachment:
Andy Harris, Republican: Did not vote
C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, Democrat: Yes
John Sarbanes, Democrat: Yes
Anthony Brown, Democrat: Yes
Steny Hoyer, Democrat: Yes
David Trone, Democrat: Yes
Kweisi Mfume, Democrat: Yes
Jamie Raskin, Democrat: Yes
The Associated Press contributed to this article.