Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment

Greg Nash

A growing number of Republicans are announcing their plans to support impeaching President Trump after a violent mob stormed the Capitol last week.

House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Tuesday Group Co-Chairs John Katko (R-N.Y.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) all issued statements on Tuesday saying the president’s rhetoric the day of the riot met the threshold of an impeachable offense.

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,” Trump said at a rally in Washington shortly before the Capitol siege.

The riot led to the death of five people, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, when a mob of Trump supporters swarmed the building in an attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.

Katko was the first GOP lawmaker in the House to announce he would vote in favor of the article of impeachment.

“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” he said in the statement. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president.”

Kinzinger, who has been a vocal critic of the president, followed, stating that Trump “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?”

Upton blasted the president for saying his rally remarks the day of the riot were “totally appropriate,” slamming him for not showing remorse.

Cheney, the only member of House GOP leadership to announce her support of impeachment, said there has “never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

And Herrera Beutler noted that Trump went after Vice President Pence and noted the death of the police officer, stating that “the president’s offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have.”

The impeachment resolution, crafted by Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), charges Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors for “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”

Numerous members said they have not ruled out the possibility of joining the efforts.

“When it comes to impeachment, it’s something we’re strongly considering at this point,” Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) said in a video released by a reporter with a Fox affiliate in Michigan.

“I have to sleep on it,” Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) said.

While a number of GOP lawmakers have gotten on board with impeachment, others have cautioned they think it could spark further violence, instead preferring to go the route of a censure.

A group of members led by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) introduced a censure on Tuesday, making the case they feel it is the effective way to punish Trump as he exits office without further dividing the country.

“President Trump’s attempts to undermine the outcome of the 2020 election have been unconscionable. The combination of a false information campaign coupled with inflammatory rhetoric led to the devastation that I was a personal witness to on the House Floor on Jan. 6. His actions threatened the integrity of our democracy, Congress, and his own vice president. For months, President Trump has been lying to the American people with false information, and giving his supporters false expectations. The election is over,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Brian Fitzpatrick Capitol breach Dan Newhouse David Cicilline Donald Trump Fred Upton Impeachment Jaime Herrera Beutler Jamie Raskin Joe Biden John Katko Liz Cheney Ted Lieu Trump impeachment
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