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House Republicans say threats of violence could be a factor in impeachment decision

House GOP lawmakers on Wednesday said that threats made toward them and their families could factor in to their decision whether to impeach President Trump. 

Republicans voiced concerns about their safety after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which left five dead including a Capitol Hill Police officer. 

Multiple members of Congress told The Hill they have received death threats from individuals from both parties since the vote to challenge the certification of the Electoral College results last week.

They added that there is a potential for threats to intensify if they support impeaching the president for inciting the violent mob at the Capitol. The possibility of these threats will play into lawmakers’ decision-making process on the vote. 

“Yea — I think a lot of people are making political decisions here,” one member said when asked if threats of violence affected how members of the conference will vote. 

A second GOP lawmaker said they believe the threats could lead to an influx in retirement announcements, with some weighing whether remaining in Congress is worth the risk. 

“Without a doubt [it’s a factor]. Watch for a large number of members to resign early or not run again after this term,” the member said. 

But others argued they believe the majority of members are voting for what they believe is right, noting that the threats received haven’t just come from right-wing extremists. 

“No. Most people are getting them from both sides. And I’d like to think they have the courage to do what they think is right regardless. I know I will,” another lawmaker said. 

Another senior Republican said they are concerned decisions on votes may be driven by amplified emotions from the chaos of the riot last week. 

“My fear is the vote itself is sort of driven by the passion of the moment, that this is one of passion, not intellect,” the lawmaker said. 

Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump charging him with inciting a mob of his supporters who carried out a violent attack on the Capitol to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

Since the insurrection, tension on Capitol Hill has intensified as law enforcement warned of the potential of additional violent protests ahead of Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. 

Thousands of members of the National Guard have been brought in and fences have been put up around the Capitol in anticipation of potential rioters. 

A group of House Democrats was told Monday evening that there are four specific threats to the Capitol, White House and Supreme Court made between Dec. 17-21. 

Tags 2021 impeachment Capitol breach Donald Trump House GOP incitement of violence Joe Biden Trump impeachment

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