A sixth Republican revealed he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump, but the president’s Senate trial won’t start until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington said Wednesday afternoon that he would vote yes on impeachment.
‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option,’ Newhouse said.
‘A vote against impeachment is a vote to validate this unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital,’ Newhouse said in a statement. ‘It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed.’
Wednesday afternoon: House passed single Article
What happens next? Nancy Pelosi decides when to transmit Article to Senate. When she does, it must begin trial on the next sitting day and sit six days a week until it concludes
Tuesday January 19: Earliest date Mitch McConnell has said Senate can begin considering Article. Senate procedures may mean trial will not begin until the following day at 1pm
Wednesday January 20, noon: Trump leaves office
What happens next? If a trial is under way, it can continue. Most legal experts say if it has not begun, it can, but there is a minority who say impeachment cannot continue if the president is not in office
‘Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office,’ Newhouse added. His remarks were applauded on the House floor.
Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s spokesman confirmed that McConnell informed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he wouldn’t bring the Senate back before January 19, the day before Biden’s inauguration.
The revelation came after the House cleared procedural hurdles and debate started leading up to an expected Wednesday afternoon impeachment vote.
Overall, six Republicans are expected to join the Democrats in voting to impeach Trump for a second time over his role in ‘inciting an insurrection,’ just one week after the MAGA mob stormed Capitol Hill.
The White House put out a statement from Trump, trying to quell future violence as the House debated.
‘In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You,’ the president’s statemet said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump a ‘clear and present danger,’ as Democrats said they were standing in a ‘crime scene’ and Trump needed to pay a price for a campaign of ‘lies and conspiracy theories,’ which had fomented violence.
Trump’s Republican allies did not defend Trump’s behavior, but instead pitched censuring the president or launching a 9/11-style commission, more fitting punishments they argued for someone who was already leaving office.
Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, went as far to say Trump’s conduct was impeachable, but wouldn’t vote for the article, calling it ‘flawed.’
The Republican revolt was led by Rep. Liz Cheney, the number three in the caucus, who issued a fiery denunciation of Trump when she announced her vote, saying he ‘lit the flame on insurrection.’
Members of the House walked into the chamber past rows of National Guard members sleeping holding their rifles, while outside thousands of troops surrounded the building, the first time troops have been stationed in it since the Civil War.
In the Senate, which will have to hold a trial of Trump in the wake of the vote as soon as it receives the article, McConnell is said to be leaning ‘more than 50/50’ towards convicting Trump, to ‘purge’ the party of him.
McConnell confirmed that reporting by leaving the door open to convict.
‘While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,’ read a memo McConnell sent to his GOP Senate colleagues.
How many other Republicans are on board is unknown, with only Sen. Mitt Romney certain so far to back impeachment, while on Wednesday Sen. Lindsey Graham accused McConnell of risking more violence by backing impeachment.
In the first procedural vote of the day in the House, Democrats voted en masse 221 to 205 against a Republican effort to install a commission.
A second procedural hurdle was also passed with only Democratic votes.
Rep. Tom Cole, the first GOP lawmaker to speak, argued against a hasty impeachment vote ‘not because of the president’s inappropriate and reckless words are deserving of defense but because the presidency itself demands due process.’ Cole had himself voted to overturn the election results.
Republicans also warned impeaching Trump for a second time would only make partisan hostilities worse.
‘This is a reckless impeachment,’ complained Republican Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri. ‘This will only bring up the hate and fire more than ever before.’
Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona charged Democrats with wanting ‘complete destruction of your nemesis.’
‘Instead of stopping the Trump train, his movement will go stronger, for you would have made him a martyr,’ Biggs warned.
Democrats described the terror of last week’s attack.
‘We are debating this resolution at an actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if not for the president of the United States,’ said Rep. Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat.
‘People were sending text messages to their loved ones, telling them they loved them. They thought they were saying goodbye,’ he added.
The House of Representatives began debating impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time Wednesday morning – which marks a historic first
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened Wednesday afternoon’s session and said President Donald Trump represented a ‘clear and present danger’
Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Washington state, became the sixth GOP member to say he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump
‘We are debating this resolution at an actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if not for the president of the United States,’ said Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern
The House’s No. 3 Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, walks into the Capitol Building surrounded by members of the National Guard
Armed National Guard troops are seen outside the U.S. Capitol Building as members inside debate impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time in 13 months
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally, speaks on the House floor Wednesday as impeachment proceedings began
HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED ‘YES’ ON IMPEACHMENT
Liz Cheney – Wyoming. Republican royalty and House Number 3
‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’
Adam Kinzinger – Illinois. Outspoken Trump critic and Air Force veteran
‘If these actions are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?’
John Katko – New York. Holds swing district and co-chairs moderate group
‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy.’
Fred Upton – Michigan. 14-term rep who co-chairs moderate group
‘It is time to say: Enough is enough.’
Jaime Herrera Beutler – Washington
Five-term rep in deep blue state
‘The President of the United States incited a riot. That riot led to five deaths.’
Dan Newhouse – Washington
One of only two GOP reps from state
‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republican is not an option.’
Peter Meijer – Michigan
Holds Gerald Ford’s seat
‘There was no such courage from our President who betrayed and misled millions.’
Tom Rice – South Carolina
Voted to overturn election results
‘I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. This utter failure is inexcusable.’
Anthony Gonzalez – Ohio
‘The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties.’
Former NFL starting wide receiver
David Valadao – California
‘His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.’
Reclaimed district from Dems in 2020
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, the House’s lead impeachment manager, referred to the rioters as a ‘bloodthirsty mob.’
‘They wounded dozens of people, hospitalizing dozens of people,’ he said. ’They may have been hunting for Pence and Pelosi to stage their coup, but every one of us in this room right now, could have died.’
Rep. Joaquin Castro echoed Raskin’s description.
‘Let me ask you a question? What do you think they would have done if they had gotten in? What do you think they would have done to you? And who do you think sent them here?’ he asked his fellow members. ‘The most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office.’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking to an InstagramLive audience Tuesday night since she was proxy voting, said, ‘I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.’
‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive,’ the high-profile progressive lawmaker said.
On the floor Wednesday, the Democrats pointed to the Republicans’ high-profile defection: the No. 3 House Republican, Cheney.
Cheney, the Republican Conference Chair, laced into Trump in her statement, saying he ‘lit the flame’ of insurrection – and Democrats repeated her words back to the Republicans.
‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,’ she said.
The decision to back impeachment by Cheney, a member of Republican royalty as the daughter of Dick Cheney, and seen as a future contender for the party’s House leadership and the Speaker’s chair, means that impeachment would be bipartisan.
On the floor Wednesday, Democrats pointed to Cheney’s statement as evidence they were in the right.
The Democrats’ No. 2, Rep. Steny Hoyer, recited Cheney’s words during his turn to speak.
‘That is not some irresponsible new member of Congress of the United States,’ Hoyer said. ‘This is the daughter of the former Republican whip and former vice president of the United States of America.’
‘She knows of which she speaks,’ Hoyer argued.
Reps. Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar, two of Trump’s top GOP House allies, were pushing to have Cheney removed from her leadership position.
JIM JORDAN SAYS DEMOCRATS WANT TO ‘CANCEL’ THE PRESIDENT
Jordan gave two fiery floor speeches Wednesday.
He yelled ’19 minutes!’ into the microphone Wednesday afternoon, charging Democrats with waiting just 19 minutes into the Trump administration to start their impeachment hunt.
He said Democrats were pursuing removal again because of ‘politics and the fact that they want to, they want to cancel the president.’
‘This is about getting the president of the United States,’ Jordan said.
‘They spied on his campaign before he was elected, 19 minutes into his presidency they started the impeachment push, three year Mueller investigation, 19 lawyers, 40 agents, 500 witnesses, 2,500 subpoenas, $40 million to find nothing,’ Jordan went on.
The Ohio Republican said impeachment ’round one’ was based on information from a ‘biased’ whistleblower.
‘Now it’s impeachment round two,’ he said. ‘It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession, an obsession that’s now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore it’s about canceling … canceling the president,’ Jordan argued.
‘IT BREAKS MY HEART’ SAYS HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI
Pelosi, who opened the formal impeachment articles debate, said she wasn’t pursuing the measure with glee.
‘It gives me no pleasure to say this, it breaks my heart. It should break your heart. It should break all of our hearts,’ the top Democrat said.
Pelosi encouraged the Senate to act, calling the president a ‘clear and present danger.’
‘I believe the president must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man, that was so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear, and hold us together,’ she said.
She also slammed those who engaged in the riot.
‘Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to and managed. They were domestic terrorists and justice must prevail,’ the House speaker said.
TOP HOUSE REPUBLICAN SAYS ANTIFA NOT RESPONSIBLE
Pelosi’s Republican counterpart, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, let other, more pro-Trump members speak before he took a turn on the floor, where he cleared up some right-wing misinformation.
‘Some say the riots were caused by Antifa,’ McCarthy said. ‘There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so,’ he advised.
McCarthy said he planned to vote no on impeachment because it was too hasty.
‘I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake,’ McCarthy argued. ‘No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held.’
‘What’s more, the Senate has confirmed that no trial will begin until after President-Elect Biden is sworn in,’ McCarthy added, a nod to the breaking McConnell news.
TRUMP’S TOP ALLIES POINT FINGERS BACK AT DEMOCRATS
Most of the Republicans lining up to speak were Trump hard-liners – and pointed to what they considered to be Democratic hypocrisy.
‘The left in America has incited far more political violence than the right for months. Our cities burned police stations burned or businesses were shattered. And they said nothing,’ Rep. Matt Gaetz yelled.
‘Well they lit actual flames. Actual fires,’ Gaetz exclaimed.
That comment cued boos from the Democratic side.
Rep. Ken Buck compared the capitol assault to Trump administration officials being harassed at restaurants.
‘The press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant for being a Trump employee, the DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen harassed at her home,’ Buck said on the floor.
Nielsen was confronted by a crowd at a D.C. restaurant over the Trump administration’s child separation policy.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, who has openly supported the QAnon conspiracy theory, called for ‘accountability on the left.’
‘After encouraging and normalizing violence,’ she said.
‘I call bull crap when I hear the Democrats demanding unity. Sadly they are only unified in hate,’ she blasted.
the other ‘QAnon congresswoman,’ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green gave her floor remarks wearing a ‘CENSORED’ mask.
Rep. Brian Mast, a Florida Republican, used a dramatic pause to make his point.
‘Has any one of those individuals who brought violence on this capitol been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our president?’ Mast asked.
He stood unanswered for 30 seconds until his time elapsed. ‘It appears I will receive no answer,’ he said.
(SOME) REPUBLICANS REVOLT
Joining Cheney in voting for the Democratic-prepared article of impeachment will be Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Newhouse of Washington.
‘My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision,’ Herrera Beutler said during her floor speech. ‘I am not choosing a side I am choosing, it’s the only way to defeat fear.’
The White House was bracing for more.
Cheney’s decision came minutes after McConnell was revealed to believe that Trump had committed impeachable offenses.
The New York Times’ bombshell was still echoing in Washington D.C. when the House started its 25th Amendment debate – and as it dragged to a close Tuesday night, Axios reported that McConnell was leaning towards a vote to convict the president and was ‘more than 50/50’ on it.
Cheney was seen speaking to Raskin on Tuesday night as he led the Democrats arguing for a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment removing Trump from power.
The House passed it late Tuesday despite Pence sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he’ll refuse.
Hundreds of National Guard troops wer sleeping on the stone floor of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning as security in Washington intensified a week out from Joe Biden’s inauguration
The troops could be seen spreading out inside the Rotunda of the US Capitol on Wednesday morning
The troops cradled their weapons and huddled together as they slept inside the Capitol on Wednesday
In a vote that wrapped up around 11.30pm Tuesday, the House voted 223-205 to approve the resolution, which can’t actually force the vice president’s hand.
‘I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution,’ Pence said in his letter to Pelosi, refusing to pull the trigger on the 25th.
‘Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation,’ Pence added.
Pence’s letter came as the House was holding procedural votes on the resolution.
No Republicans joined on until the final vote – with Rep. Adam Kinzinger joining Democrats in the push to have Pence to use the 25th.
Trump ultra-loyalist Jim Jordan says he will try to oust Liz Cheney from her position as party’s House number three in revenge for voting to impeach president
‘I think she’s, I think she’s totally wrong,’ Jordan said. ‘The conference should have a second vote on that,’ the Ohio Republican told reporters, saying he believed lawmakers should get a say on removing Cheney from her No. 3 position.
Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, another top Trump ally, was circulating a petition to GOP members pushing for Cheney’s removal, C-SPAN and CNN reported.
The House Republican caucus held leadership elections for the 117th Congress on November 17, two weeks after Election Day.
Cheney, again, was selected to be the Republican Conference chairman, and ran for the position unopposed.
On Tuesday she announced she would side the the Democratic majority and vote to impeach Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection.’
In an explosive statement, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney laced into Trump saying he ‘lit the flame’ of insurrection.
‘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.
Four other GOP House members have said they will vote for Trump’s impeachment: Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Fred Upton, John Katko and Jaime Herrera Beutler.
Speaking to Capitol Hill reporters, Jordan was unsure if there was a mechanism to push a member out of leadership.
‘I don’t know about that – it’s just where I’m at,’ he told the press.
When asked if the conservative Freedom Caucus, of which Jordan is a leader, was supportive of pushing Cheney out, Jordan replied sarcastically, ‘What do you think?’
‘You know the answer. You know the answer to that question,’ he went on. ‘Of course.’
Jordan was also asked if Republicans had a ‘cohesive leaderhip team’ with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Cheney appearing to be in direct conflict. ‘Leader McCarthy and whip Scalise have done a great job,’ Jordan answered.
Rep. Steve Scalise is the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives. Jordan was recently given a Presidential Medal of Freedom behind closed doors by Trump. Both voted to overturn the election.
Bipartisan and united: Jamie Raskin, the House Democrat who led the successful demand for a resolution telling Mike Pence to remove Donald Trump, held talks with Liz Cheney, the House Republican number three after she said she would vote for impeachment
The House voted 223 to 205 in favor of a resolution that urges Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office after he incited Wednesday’s Capitol Hill riot. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger voted alongside Democrats
U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, after visiting the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Harlingen, Texas, Tuesday
READ THE FULL ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT
‘THE PRESIDENT LIT THE FLAME.’ GOP NO.3 LIZ CHENEY’S STATEMENT IN FULL
On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.
Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
I will vote to impeach the President.
That set the scene for an impeachment debate and vote Wednesday entirely different from the first impeachment vote on October 31, 2019.
Then the only non-Democratic vote was from Justin Amash, who was essentially forced out of the Republican party before he even cast it.
But after a day in which they feared for their lives, the mood in Congress had changed rapidly.
Tuesday’s debate saw pro-Trump Republicans line up to back him – but party moderates conspicuously silent, and the Minority leader and his deputy Steve Scalise silent.
The resolution blamed Trump for the violent MAGA mob that broke into Capitol Hill Wednesday, laying out how he ‘broadly encouraged’ his supporters to come to Washington on January 6, saying that the day would be ‘wild.’
‘Donald Trump has demonstrated repeatedly, continuously, and spectacularly his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office, including most recently the duty to respect the legitimate results of the Presidential election, the duty to respect the peaceful transfer of democratic power under the Constitution, the duty to participate in legally defined transition activities, the duty to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States, including the counting of Electoral College votes by Congress, the duty to protect the people of the United States and their elected representatives against domestic insurrection, mob rule, and seditious violence, and generally the duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ the resolution says.
Despite being targets in the violent incident, House Republicans lined up against passing the resolution.
Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, called the resolution ‘an attempt to pressure the vice president into performing a duty he clearly does not believe is necessary at this time.’
As exasperated Rep. Pat Fallon, a new GOP lawmaker from Texas, said Trump held a ‘permitted, legal and peaceful rally,’ refusing to blame him for the group of Trump supporters who mobbed the Capitol.
Jordan, the Ohio Republican who recently was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump, lambasted the effort – and also the new fines for not wearing masks in the House chamber and the metal detectors that were installed Tuesday outside the doors of the House floor.
In his letter to Pelosi, Pence argued that the 25th Amendment was supposed to address ‘incapacity or disability.’
The vice president pointed to the Democrats own effort to create a 25th Amendment Commission, which said a president’s fitness must be determined by ‘science and facts’ and ‘[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior we don’t like, but based on a medical decision.’
Pence also pledged that the administration’s energy was dedicated to ‘ensuring an orderly transition.’
The vice president repeated an argument being pushed by a number of Capitol Hill Republicans – that pursuing removal of Trump would only make things worse.
‘I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment,’ Pence said. ‘Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inauguration President-elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was informed by Vice President Mike Pence that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office as the House was taking its first vote Tuesday night on a resolution that urges him to do so
The House of Representatives voted late into the night Wednesday on a resolution that encourages Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from power
Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, criticized the Democrats’ effort to have Vice President Mike Pence utilize the 25th Amendment. He also complained about the House’s new fines for lawmakers who don’t wear masks – and the metal detectors outside the House chamber
During Tuesday night’s debate of the 25th Amendment resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also announced her impeachment managers, saying Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland would be leading the charge. Raskin tragically lost his son to suicide just days ago
Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who recently was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump, lambasted the effort
HOW TRUMP’S SECOND IMPEACHMENT WILL UNFOLD
The House is expected to impeach President Donald Trump for his encouragement of supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, a vote that would make him the first American president to be impeached twice.
While the previous three impeachments – those of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump – took months before a final vote, including investigations and hearings, this time it will have only taken a week. After the rioting at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ‘we must take action,’ and Democrats – and some Republicans – share her view ahead of Wednesday’s vote.
For now, the Republican-led Senate is not expected to hold a trial and vote on whether to convict Trump before Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as president Jan. 20. Still, Democrats feel that action by the House would send an important message to the country.
A look at what will happen as the House moves closer to impeaching Trump in his last week in office:
THE BASICS OF IMPEACHMENT:
In normal order, there would be an impeachment investigation and the evidence would be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings, draft articles and send them to the full House. That’s what happened in 2019, when the House impeached Trump over his dealings with the president of Ukraine. It took three months.
This time, with so few days to act – and a feeling among Democrats that there is little need to investigate what happened, since most members of Congress heard Trump speak to his supporters and were in the Capitol when the mob broke in – impeachment is going straight to the House floor for a vote, which would come as soon as Wednesday.
Once the House votes to impeach, the articles and evidence would be sent to the Senate, where a trial would be held and there would be final votes to convict or acquit. That’s what the Senate did in early February of last year after Trump was impeached the first time.
Democrats will begin debate Wednesday on a single impeachment charge: ‘incitement of insurrection.’
‘President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,’ reads the four-page impeachment article, which was introduced by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
‘He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,’ it reads.
The article says the behavior is consistent with Trump’s prior efforts to ‘subvert and obstruct’ the results of the election and references his recent call with the Georgia secretary of state, in which he said he wanted him to find him more votes after losing the state to Biden.
Trump has falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in the election, and the baseless claims have been repeatedly echoed by congressional Republicans and the insurgents who descended on the Capitol. Just before the riots, Trump spoke to the supporters near the White House and encouraged them to ‘fight like hell.’
As the protesters broke in, both chambers were debating GOP challenges to the electoral vote count in Arizona as part of the process for certifying Biden’s election win.
On Tuesday, five Republicans said they would support impeachment. No Republicans supported Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she would vote to impeach Trump because ‘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 Trump ‘summoned’ the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, ‘assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.’
New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach. A former federal prosecutor, he said he did not make the decision lightly.
‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,’ Katko said. ‘I cannot sit by without taking action.’
Also saying they would vote for impeachment were Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.
SENDING TO THE SENATE
Once the House passes the articles, Pelosi can decide when she sends them to the Senate. Under the current schedule, the Senate is not set to resume full sessions until Jan. 19, which is the day before Biden’s inauguration.
Some Democrats suggested Pelosi might wait to send the articles and allow Biden to begin his term without impeachment hanging over him. But many other Democrats have urged Pelosi to move immediately.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who will be in charge once Biden is sworn in, suggested in a letter to colleagues Tuesday the chamber might divide its time between confirming Biden’s nominees, approving COVID relief and conducting the trial.
If the trial isn’t held until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again.
Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the ‘folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.’
It’s unlikely, for now, that enough Republicans would vote to convict, since two-thirds of the Senate is needed. Yet some Republicans have told Trump to resign, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and few are defending him.
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has said he would take a look at what the House approves, but stopped short of committing to support it.
Other Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, long a key ally of the president, has been critical of his behavior in inciting the riots but said impeachment ‘will do far more harm than good.’
Only one Republican voted to convict Trump last year — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.
WHAT IMPEACHMENT WOULD MEAN
Democrats say they have to move forward, even if the Senate doesn’t convict.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted on Friday that some people might ask why they would try to impeach a president with only a few days left in office.
‘The answer: Precedent,’ he said. ‘It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government.’