Indigenous lawmakers split Trump impeachment vote

Rep. Markwayne Mullin during a May 14 House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on Capitol Hill. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP, File)

Dalton Walker

‘Donald Trump has made it clear that he is unfit to serve as president of the United States’

Indian Country Today

Three Indigenous members of Congress voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump, charged with “incitement of insurrection.” He is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

The U.S. House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans voting yes.

The vote fell along party lines for the Indigenous lawmakers. Democratic Reps. Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk, of Kansas, Kai Kahele, Kanaka Maoli, of Hawaii, and Deb Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblos, of New Mexico, voted in favor.

Republicans Tom Cole, Chickasaw, Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee, both of Oklahoma, and Yvette Herrell, Cherokee, of New Mexico, voted against. 

In making a case for the “high crimes and misdemeanors” demanded in the Constitution, the four-page impeachment resolution approved Wednesday relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory, including at a rally near the White House on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

(Related: Trump impeached after Capitol riot; historic second charge)

Kahele, in only his 11th day in Congress, posted a video clip of himself voting and explained why he voted in favor of Trump's impeachment.

“He must be held accountable for inciting violent & deadly insurrection on our democracy & our nation’s capital. We must remove him from office.”

In another short video posted on social media, Mullin said voting on impeachment “doesn't help us, this doesn't help us move forward as a country.”

Earlier Wednesday, Mullin was under fire for refusing to walk through metal detectors to enter the House floor, NBC News reported. The devices were set up as a safety precaution after last week’s violent attack on the Capitol. 

Davids, meanwhile, released a statement on her vote to impeach Trump.

“Donald Trump has made it clear that he is unfit to serve as president of the United States. Moreover, he is a clear and present danger to our safety, security, and democracy,” she said. “Because while this is about removing a clear and present danger from the White House now, it’s also about 100 years from now and the precedent we set.”

In other reaction in Indian Country, Manilan Houle, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, tweeted his support for the House’s vote.

“As solemn of occasion as this second impeachment is I am grateful for the swift and decisive voice of a bipartisan US House who has refused to abandon their oath to defend this nation against enemies foreign and domestic who seek to undermine our Democracy. #impeachment”

After the House voted to impeach Trump, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell suggested in a statement that Trump's Senate trial will not start before Jan. 19, the chamber’s next scheduled business day. It's also the day before Biden is inaugurated as president and about the time Democrats take over majority control of the Senate. The timetable essentially means McConnell is dropping the trial into Democrats' laps.

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Indian Country Today reporter-producer Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, national correspondent Dalton Walker, Red Lake Anishinaabe, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Chavez on Twitter: @aliyahjchavez or email her at Follow Walker on Twitter: @daltonwalker 

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Comments (5)
No. 1-5

Oh please the three republicans are no more indigenous than the man in the moon! Mullin and Cole supported the Trump administration's 4 year ongoing assault on protected and sacred Tribal lands and sites, promoting drilling on protected lands, removing a Tribe's trust land from federal trust and reducing protected lands for the purpose of profiting private industry. And Herrell does not voluntarily identify as Native American because her district is primarily oil & gas and rural agriculture areas that aren't real favorable on Tribes or Native Americans and their issues. So as an Indigenous person who is and always has been readily identifiable as Native American which includes experiencing related bias and discrimination and possessing the ingrained values of protecting and preserving our people, our culture and mother earth I object to being classified with people who are only indigenous by some legal provision of a Tribe's membership criteria! Neyiwa! (Thank you in Shawnee)

Casey Camp Horinek
Casey Camp Horinek

Cole and Mullin are not considered true representatives of Indigenous Peoples here in Oklahoma. At best, they would be considered "benefit Indians"; meaning that they are only Indian (Indigenous) when it benefits them. They don't even bother to talk the talk, much less walk the walk. They ride the coattails of the racist Gov. Kevin Stitt , who is doing his best to erase our sovereignty and culture through his plan of "ONE OKLAHOMA". Look it up, its sponsored by fossil fuel executives like Harold Hamm, the godfather of fracking. They went along with Gov. Stitt when he and Sen. Inhofe (R) Oklahoma , striped the Tribes of the right to set our own Environmental standards. I could continue, but please just DON'T be fooled by these Trump lovers. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT ANY INDIGENOUS VALUES and they don't represent any of us who care about our future generations. Check thier pockets, you'll find them lined with dirty fossil fuel $'s. I stand by my words as a proud Ponca Matriarch.


Republicans have no right to complain about Democrats' supposed failure to work for unity because of the push for impeachment, because Republicans have consistently supported Trump for four years, and he was nothing if not divisive. That was the whole aim of his presidency: to appeal to just one group of Americans (a minority in fact) by encouraging them in their resentment of and contempt for all the rest of us.

Keetoowah Voter
Keetoowah Voter

These Oklahoma representatives represent the state and abuse real natives for their own gain. I do not accept them at all. They do not represent us, they represent their colonizers best interest, the worst kind of traitor to tribes are "indian scouts" .


Yea, I don’t think the word ‘indigenous’ fits here.. they are both tribal ‘citizens’ but they are clearly not indigenous people.. they are descendants of indigenous people who are enrolled in a tribe ..