A small but growing group of Republicans in Congress say they will vote to impeach President Donald Trump for his alleged role in last week’s brutal assault on the U.S. Capitol – an unprecedented loss of control for the president at a time when he is at his most vulnerable.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the chair of the Republican conference and third-ranking GOP House member, said Tuesday she will back impeachment: "There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement.
Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) became the first Republican to publicly back impeachment on Tuesday, according to a statement the congressman relayed to Syracuse, New York-based Post-Standard.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a vocal opponent of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, alleged in a statement that the president “broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection,” asking, “if these actions... are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?"
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in a statement will vote to impeach Trump, calling for a “clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power.”
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) said there is “indisputable evidence” that Trump’s conduct was impeachable, arguing that the GOP is “best served when those among us choose truth.”
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) said in a floor speech that the articles of impeachment are “flawed” but said he would “not use process as an excuse” because Trump “did nothing to stop” the riot.
Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) said in a statement that the vote “is not a victory. It isn't a victory for my party, and it isn't the victory the Democrats might think it is,” adding that he will vote to impeach Trump for “seeking to undermine our constitution process” and “inciting the violent acts of insurrection.”
Most House Republicans are opposed to the move, including the two top-ranking GOP leaders in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced one article of impeachment against Trump on Monday, moving to charge the president with “incitement of insurrection” after he riled up a crowd that later infiltrated the Capitol. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), one of the Democrats who has helped draft the impeachment article, said Monday Democrats “have the votes to impeach.” Although there are just days left in Trump’s presidency, Congress could restrict him from running for office in the future if the House impeaches Trump and the Senate votes to convict. The Constitution is somewhat unclear about this process, but in the past, the Senate has voted by a simple majority to disqualify them from public office.
A group of House Republicans who voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory asked the incoming president to help block the effort “in the spirit of healing and fidelity to our Constitution” in a letter Saturday.
0. That’s how many House Republicans supported impeaching Trump the first time around.
“I don’t think anybody can look and say an impeachment of this president is the thing that’s going to help unite and bring our country together,” Scalise said Saturday.
In a letter to Congress sent out Monday, 22 former Republican lawmakers called for Trump to be impeached.
What To Watch For
While Trump’s impeachment in the House is a foregone conclusion, conviction in the Senate is a far murkier question. A handful of senators have advocated Trump’s resignation or removal without explicitly voicing support for impeachment, but Democrats may struggle to muster the 17 GOP votes needed to get the necessary two-thirds majority. Additionally, McConnell has signaled a Senate impeachment trial likely wouldn’t occur until after Trump has left office.