Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler thrust herself into the national spotlight on Friday when the Washington Republican came out with a stunning account of Donald Trump’s actions on the day of the Capitol insurrection. In a statement put out on the eve of the vote in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, Herrera Beutler said that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told her that in a conversation with the then-president on Jan. 6, Trump appeared to side with the mob, telling him the rioters were “more upset about the election than you are.”
“I could see a primary in 2022 where Republicans put forward a very clear Trump candidate. Her weakness will be on the right,” said Mark Stephan, an associate professor of political science at Washington State University. “But I think there will be Democrats who will vote for her because they felt she acted courageously in this case.”
Stephan of Washington State University said Herrera Beutler is likely making up for any lost conservative voters by picking up more centrists. He said he expected that the ramifications of her stance on impeachment will likely take shape in the year ahead.