Ten Republicans — together with Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House GOP chief — voted to question President Donald Trump Wednesday over the lethal revolt on the Capitol. The GOP votes have been in sharp distinction to the unanimous assist for Trump amongst House Republicans when he was impeached by Democrats in December 2019.
Cheney, whose choice to buck Trump sparked a direct backlash throughout the GOP, was the one member of her get together’s management to assist impeachment, which was opposed by 197 Republicans.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” mentioned Cheney, whose father, Dick Cheney, served as vice chairman underneath George W. Bush. The youthful Cheney has been extra essential of Trump than different GOP leaders, however her announcement hours earlier than Wednesday’s vote nonetheless shook Congress.
Trump “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,″ Cheney said, adding, “Everything that followed was his doing.” Trump may have instantly intervened to cease his supporters from rioting however didn’t, she famous. The riot resulted in 5 deaths, together with that of a Capitol police officer.
Nine different House Republicans additionally supported impeachment: Reps. John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan; Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington state; Tom Rice of South Carolina; and David Valadao of California.
Rice’s vote might have been probably the most stunning. His coastal district strongly backed Trump within the election and he voted final week to object to certification of electoral votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania. “I’ve backed this president via thick and skinny for 4 years. I’ve campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But this utter failure is inexcusable,″ Rice mentioned in a press release after the vote.
While he’s unsure if Trump’s Jan. 6 speech amounted to incitement of a riot, “any reasonable person could see the potential for violence,” Rice mentioned. “It is only by the grace of God and the blood of the Capitol Police that the death toll was not much, much higher.”
Rice mentioned he was disillusioned that Trump has failed to point out regret over the riot or deal with the nation to ask for calm. After the impeachment vote, Trump launched a video calling on his supporters to stay peaceable amid considerations about extra violence within the days earlier than President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Katko, a former federal prosecutor who represents the Syracuse space, mentioned permitting Trump “to incite this assault with out consequence″ can be “a direct menace to the way forward for our democracy.″
“By intentionally selling baseless theories suggesting the election was by some means stolen, the president created a flamable atmosphere of misinformation, disenfranchisement and division,″ Katko mentioned. Trump’s refusal to name off the riot put “numerous lives at risk,″ he mentioned.
Upton, a former chairman of the highly effective Energy and Commerce Committee who’s in his 18th time period representing the Kalamazoo space, mentioned he would have most well-liked a bipartisan, formal censure quite than impeachment. But he mentioned Trump’s refusal to take duty for the riot left him no selection.
Trump claimed Tuesday that his remarks at a rally simply earlier than the riot have been “totally appropriate,” an assertion that Upton mentioned “sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution.”
“The Congress should maintain President Trump to account and ship a transparent message that our nation can not and won’t tolerate any effort … to impede the peaceable switch of energy,″ he mentioned.
Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran who has emerged as a number one Trump critic, mentioned he had little question that Trump “broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.″ Trump “used his position in the executive” department to assault the legislative department, mentioned Kinzinger, who’s in his sixth time period representing northern Illinois.
Herrera Beutler, in her sixth time period representing southwestern Washington, mentioned that whereas many lawmakers worry Trump, “reality units us free from worry. My vote to question a sitting president shouldn’t be a fear-based choice,″ she mentioned. “I’m not selecting a facet. I’m selecting reality.″
Newhouse mentioned the Democratic-led articles of impeachment have been flawed, however he wouldn’t use course of as an excuse to vote no. “There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions,” mentioned Newhouse, in his fifth time period representing central Washington.
Meijer, a freshman who represents the Grand Rapids space, mentioned Trump betrayed his oath of workplace and “bears duty for inciting the revolt we suffered final week.″ Like different Republicans, he mentioned he supported impeachment with a heavy coronary heart.
Trump’s destiny is now up the Republican-controlled Senate, which acquitted him final yr with out listening to witnesses in a trial. This time, nevertheless, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is alleged to be offended at Trump, not solely over the Capitol revolt but in addition the dual defeats in Georgia the day earlier than that value the GOP its Senate majority, in accordance with a Republican granted anonymity to debate the scenario.
McConnell mentioned Wednesday he has not made a ultimate choice on how he’ll vote n a Senate trial, which will not be concluded earlier than Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
At least two GOP senators — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — have mentioned they assist impeachment or have known as on Trump to resign. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., has mentioned he’ll contemplate impeachment.
Only one Republican senator, Mitt Romney of Utah, voted to convict Trump final yr.