House

Kinzinger says he’ll vote to impeach Trump

Greg Nash

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) announced Tuesday he will vote to impeach President Trump over his role in inciting last week’s violent mob at the Capitol.

Kinzinger is the third GOP lawmaker to say he will join Democrats in backing a single article of impeachment accusing the president of “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States” over Wednesday’s riot, which left at least five people dead.

Kinzinger in a statement said Trump “encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes,” noting that lawmakers were gathered to certify the presidential election results.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection. He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative. So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions—the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch—are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?” he said.

“I will vote in favor of impeachment,” the Illinois Republican concluded.

Kinzinger will join Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the No. 3 House Republican, in backing House Democrats’ impeachment effort. The article is expected to pass Wednesday, which would make Trump the first president in history to be impeached two separate times.

Last week Kinzinger, a frequent critic of the president throughout the Trump administration, became the first GOP lawmaker to publicly call for Trump’s removal after the siege of the U.S. Capitol. However, he kept his cards close to the vest until Tuesday over how he’d vote on the impeachment articles, simply stating Sunday he’d “vote the right way” and that he backed Trump’s removal via the 25th Amendment.

The quick procession of the announcements from Katko, Cheney and Kinzinger underscore the growing frustration among GOP lawmakers with Trump over his remarks to a crowd of supporters last week that helped fuel what ultimately became a chaotic mob in the heart of American democracy.

Trump spoke to a mass of supporters to repeat his unfounded claims that the presidential election was fraudulently “stolen” from him, telling the crowd “you have to show strength” and “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

The rioters then descended on Capitol Hill, interrupting lawmakers’ votes to certify the presidential election results and forcing them to flee to a secure area.

No House Republicans joined Democrats in their impeachment efforts in 2019 and early 2020 over Trump’s efforts to leverage U.S. military aide to Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate now-President-elect Joe Biden, but bubbling anger from the GOP had raised the prospect that some would jump the aisle to vote to impeach Trump this time.

Other Republican House members who are being eyed as possible supporters of impeachment are Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), a Tuesday Group co-chair, as well as Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told House Republicans on a Monday conference call he opposed impeachment, but the party is not conducting a whip effort against the effort.

No senator has come out in support of convicting Trump over the impeachment charge, but Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted to convict Trump in 2020, and he could be joined by a handful of other centrists this time around. The New York Times also reported Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has told people that he thinks Trump committed impeachable offenses.

Trump defended the remarks he made last week, telling reporters Tuesday they were “totally appropriate.”

Tags Adam Kinzinger article of impeachment Brian Fitzpatrick Capitol breach Donald Trump Fred Upton Impeachment Jaime Herrera Beutler Joe Biden John Katko Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney
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