Hours after House Democrats successfully led the most partisan impeachment witch hunt in modern American history, a top ally to President Donald Trump announced he’s stepping down.
On Wednesday night, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed both articles of impeachment — obstruction of Congress and abuse of power — against the president.
But hours after the vote — Republican congressman Mark Meadows, a top ally to Trump, said he won’t seek reelection.
“Every year it’s a decision whether you’re going to run again,” he said. “Probably the hardest thing for me was the timing of this, because the president has accomplished so much.”
“I’m not only an ally, but will continue to be an ally.”
In a statement, the North Carolina congressman said he struggled with the decision and came to it after discussion with his family.
“My work with President Trump and his administration is only beginning. This President has accomplished incredible results for the country in just three years, and I’m fully committed to staying in the fight with him and his team to build on those successes and deliver on his promises for the years to come,” Meadows said in the statement. “I’ve always said Congress is a temporary job, but the fight to return Washington, D.C. to its rightful owner, We The People, has only just begun.”
However, Politico and other outlets are reporting that Meadows could be headed for the president’s cabinet in 2020.
NEWS in Playbook: MARK MEADOWS is leaving Congress. Will not run for re-election, and is leaving open the possibility of leaving sooner for a job helping TRUMP. https://t.co/1acQyCPPfo
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 19, 2019
For clarity, the timing of Meadows announcement is not related to the impeachment vote.
A source familiar with his decision said the timing of the announcement was “unfortunate but unavoidable” given the filing deadline for his seat in North Carolina is on Friday.
But beyond that, it’s no secret Meadows has aspirations to join the Trump campaign — just last year he said it would be an “honor” to serve as the White House chief of staff.
His announcement came not long after the House impeached the president on two bogus charges.
On the first article of impeachment, “abuse of power,” Democrats voted 228–2, Republicans voted 0–195, and the one independent member of Congress voted for impeachment.
The vote on the second article of impeachment, “obstruction of Congress,” concluded with Democrats voting 228–3, Republicans voted 0–195, and the one independent member of Congress voted for impeachment.
Not a single Republican voted in favor of either impeachment charge.
Meadows, a longtime leader of the House Freedom Caucus, is a staunch Trump loyalist and talks with him often.
Sources told Politico that Meadows is open to joining the Trump administration and will remain committed to supporting the president.
Trump floated Meadows’ name when searching for a new chief of staff to replace John Kelly last December, but he ended up choosing Mick Mulvaney for the role.
But now it seems as if Meadows has been suggested for the role again in recent months after reports that Trump is butting heads with Mulvaney.
Time will tell what happens next, but Meadows could be leaving Congress and headed for a big role in the White House.