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Republicans gauge support for Trump impeachment

House Democrats are charging ahead this week to impeach President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE anew for his role in Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol — and this time they might have some GOP support.

No House Republicans crossed the aisle 13 months ago when Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop More hands needed on the nuclear football Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) and her caucus impeached Trump for leveraging U.S. aid to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate his rival, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFive examples of media's sycophancy for Biden on inauguration week Drastic measures for drastic times — caregiver need mobile health apps Boycott sham impeachment MORE.

But last week’s violent siege of the Capitol by pro-Trump supporters — an assault that occurred with Congress in session and Vice President Pence presiding — has infuriated a host of GOP lawmakers, some of whom are now considering support for the ensuing impeachment charge, which Democrats introduced on Monday.

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The resolution, which charges Trump with “inciting violence against the Government of the United States,” will hit the House floor on Wednesday. And a number of Republicans have suggested they might be on board.

Centrist Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency National Guard back inside Capitol after having been moved to parking garage Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE (R-Ill.), an Iraq and Afghanistan war vet who’s clashed with Trump, has signaled support for impeachment.

"I'll vote the right way, you know, if I'm presented with that,” Kinzinger said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” program. “I just think it's probably not the smartest move right now, but I think that's going to be out of my hands."

A day later, after the article of impeachment was introduced, Kinzinger's spokesman struck a harsher tone and indicated the Illinois Republican may very well vote with Democrats.

“Congressman Kinzinger is committed to doing what is right, no matter the political cost. What President Trump did last week was incite violence and encourage a mob to attack the United States Capitol. Clearly, the President violated his oath of office and is unfit to serve," the spokesman said in a statement.

Kinzinger won re-election in November by 29 percentage points.

Republicans are closely watching moderate House GOP members facing tough reelections in 2022, including Tuesday Group Co-Chairs John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoCalls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack Hillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution House lawmakers reintroduce bipartisan bill to weed out foreign disinformation on social media MORE (N.Y) and Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (Mich.), as well as Reps. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (Wash.) and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickCalls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack Trump's assault on the federal government isn't over Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment MORE (Pa.).

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GOP Conference Chair Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyFive examples of media's sycophancy for Biden on inauguration week House GOP leader says he has 'concerns' over Cheney's impeachment vote Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency MORE (Wyo.), a Trump critic who opposed Republican efforts to overturn the certification of Biden’s election victory, has not yet said how she will vote. But on a conference call Monday, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop House GOP leader says he has 'concerns' over Cheney's impeachment vote McCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden MORE (R-Calif.) told fellow House Republicans he opposed impeachment.

House Democrats are racing to adopt the new impeachment charge in the short window before Jan. 20, when Trump is scheduled to leave office. The resolution was formally introduced by Democratic Reps. David CicillineDavid CicillineK Street navigates virtual inauguration week Washington state rep joins list of Republicans voting to impeach Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment MORE (R.I.), Ted LieuTed W. LieuHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis Washington state rep joins list of Republicans voting to impeach Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment MORE (Calif.), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinInauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days Democratic lawmaker says 'assassination party' hunted for Pelosi during riot MORE (Md.) and Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi names 9 impeachment managers Republicans gauge support for Trump impeachment Clyburn blasts DeVos and Chao for 'running away' from 25th Amendment fight MORE (N.Y.). Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing MORE (D-Md.) announced later on Monday that the House will rush the resolution to the floor Wednesday.

“We have a president who most of us believe participated in encouraging an insurrection, an act on this building and on democracy and trying to subvert the counting of the presidential ballot,” Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol on Monday morning.

For many first-term Republicans, Wednesday’s impeachment roll call will be the first major vote of their congressional career. Several of the lawmakers, including Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), are furious over the Capitol assault and have blamed GOP colleagues for pushing to overturn the election without basis.

“When it comes to impeachment, it’s something we’re strongly considering at this point. … What we saw on Wednesday left the president unfit for office,” Meijer told WXMI, the Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids.

But Mace said she was worried impeachment could inflame partisan tensions that are already at a boiling point.

“We were sitting ducks in the halls of Congress. … Everyone was put at risk, unnecessarily so,” Mace told CNN on Sunday, adding that “we have to hold the president accountable for what happened.”

But she has called on Biden to urge Democrats to back off impeachment, warning, “We need to be very careful about the rhetoric, about being divisive right now in the next 10 days.”

The comments highlight the dilemma facing Republicans after Wednesday’s shocking attack on the Capitol complex. On one hand, GOP lawmakers want to burnish their law-and-order bona fides by holding those responsible for the violent siege to account. On the other, they don’t want to alienate the party’s conservative base, which remains largely loyal to the president, and risk the backlash in the form of either a primary challenge or a threat to their personal safety.

Some Republicans on the Hill said there’s another consideration for GOP lawmakers still on the fence: how their vote will look if Trump incites more violence and bloodshed leading up to Inauguration Day or in the months to come.

“That was always something we knew we would have to grapple with after the election: what to do about Trump,” said one Republican source on the Hill. “The events of the past week have revealed that Trumpism is not the future of the Republican Party. We have to say who we are, what we stand for and how we can win.”

House Democrats are expected to pass their impeachment article easily Wednesday, regardless of how many Republicans join them. The terrifying assault on the Capitol has unified Democrats of all stripes, from liberal members of "the squad" to the moderate Blue Dogs, all of whom say Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his election defeat — combined with his entreaty to supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell” to overturn the results — fueled the tensions leading to the violent breach.

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It remains unclear, however, when House Democrats will send the article to the Senate — an issue that seems to be dividing the caucus.

Several prominent Democrats, including Hoyer and Cicilline, said Monday that they want to deliver the resolution across the Capitol immediately after passage, setting the stage for Senate action just as Biden takes office.

But others, including Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the Democratic whip, have suggested the better plan would be to hold the article in the House to allow Biden the time to seat his Cabinet in the earliest stages of his new administration — a process that might be disrupted by an impeachment trial.

There’s virtually no chance the Senate would convict Trump, which requires support from two-thirds of the upper chamber. But it is likely that the number of supportive Republicans would increase relative to a year ago, when only Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden officials hold call with bipartisan group of senators on coronavirus relief plan Five examples of media's sycophancy for Biden on inauguration week Romney: Total figure for Biden coronavirus stimulus is 'pretty shocking' MORE (R-Utah) broke ranks and backed one of the two Democratic impeachment articles related to Trump’s Ukraine dealings.

This time around, Romney could be joined by other moderate Republicans fed up with the turmoil of the Trump years, and furious with the president’s role in stirring up Wednesday’s mob. That list includes Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Murkowski didn't vote for Trump, won't join Democrats MORE (Alaska) and Ben SasseBen SasseKremlin: US statements about pro-Navalny protests show 'direct support for the violation of the law' Senators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Thousands detained at pro-Navalny rallies in Moscow MORE (Neb.). 

“I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move,” Sasse told CBS over the weekend.

Updated at 6:41 p.m.