Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), one of the 10 House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection, announced his retirement Tuesday morning.
In an occasionally emotional speech from the House floor, Upton recounted the work he was proudest of and reeled off a list of his coworkers’ names in gratitude.
“We’ve been hitting the road to push for civility,” he said of those peers. “Hopefully, civility and bipartisanship versus discord can rule, not rue, the day.”
Upton joins Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and John Katko (R-NY) in departing the chamber after their consequential impeachment votes.
“UPTON QUITS!” Trump crowed in a press release. “4 down and 6 to go. Others losing badly, who’s next?”
Upton had already attracted a primary challenger minted with Trump’s endorsement. Redistricting also would have thrown him into battle with Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) for a newly-created district.
Still, Upton was torn over the decision for months, earlier in 2022 releasing a campaign ad indicating that he would seek reelection.
Upton boasts one of the longest tenures among Republicans in the House, having been first elected in 1986.
No House Republicans voted to impeach Trump the first time — over withholding military aid to Ukraine — and only Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) did so in the upper chamber.
Upton joined the larger group in voting to impeach Trump on January 13, 2021, a week after the mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
“Today the President characterized his inflammatory rhetoric at last Wednesday’s rally as ‘totally appropriate,’ and he expressed no regrets for last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol,” Upton said a day before the vote. “This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution.”
“The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next,” he added. “Thus, I will vote to impeach.”