The United States House of Representatives is moving forward to impeach President Donald Trump as a growing number of Republicans break with their president following last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
Starting at 9 a.m. EST (2 p.m. GMT) Wednesday, the House will begin debate on an impeachment article against President Trump for insurgency. If approved, likely late Wednesday, it would make Trump the first president in US history to be impeached twice.
A growing number of Republicans say they will join Democrats in impeaching Trump, which would see the House vote a resounding rebuke from Trump just seven days into his turbulent presidency.
Representative Liz Cheney, the third Republican to lead the House, released a scathing statement on Tuesday announcing that she would vote for impeachment.
“Much more will become clear in the days and weeks to come, but what we now know is enough,” Cheney said.
“The President of the United States called this crowd, gathered this crowd and kindled the flame of this attack,” she said.
“All that followed was his work.
Trump addressed a crowd of thousands of his supporters on Jan.6 on the Ellipse, a park just south of the White House in Washington, claiming the presidential election was stolen from him and urging them to march on the Capitol where lawmakers voted. certify the election of Joe Biden. Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building and six people, including two police officers, were killed.
Cheney is president of the Republican House Conference and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. According to media reports, she told Republicans on a conference call on Tuesday that they were free to vote their conscience on impeachment.
Representative John Katko, former federal prosecutor, said the facts surrounding the mob attack on Congress make it clear that Trump has instigated violence and should be removed from office.
“The role of the president in this regard is undeniable,” Katko said in an address to the House on Tuesday evening.
“Both on social media and on January 6 in his speech, he deliberately promoted baseless theories creating a fuel environment of disinformation and division,” Katko said.
Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger, a former Air Force pilot who criticized Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud, has said he will vote in favor of impeachment.
If the actions of a president “inciting a deadly insurgency against” Congress “do not merit impeachment, then what is an uneasy offense?” Kinzinger asked in a statement.
Trump “used his position” as president “to attack” the legislative branch of government, said Kinzinger, who was the first Republican to publicly call for Trump’s impeachment after the Jan.6 attack.
Kinzinger was the only Republican to join Democrats in voting 223 to 205 Tuesday night to approve a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to immediately replace Trump under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Michigan Republican Fred Upton said he would vote for Trump’s impeachment after Trump said on Tuesday his rallying remarks to supporters were “entirely appropriate” and declined to express regret for the insurgency in the United States. Capitol.
“Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by a president to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another,” he said. Upton said.
In office since 1987, Upton is one of the oldest Republican members of the House.
In the United States Senate, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has so far remained silent on impeachment, even though some other Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham have called it unnecessary and divisive.
McConnell is said to be furious about the attack on Capitol Hill and believes Trump committed an impenetrable offense by inciting the crowd, media reported citing unnamed Republican sources.
Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, has resigned as Trump’s transportation secretary after the attack on Capitol Hill. Three Republican senators have already called for Trump’s resignation, including Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey and Ben Sasse.
At the same time, McConnell did not respond to Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s call to bring the Senate back to emergency session to consider removing Trump from office before his term ends.
The Senate is currently on recess until January 20, when Joe Biden is due to be named president.
“We could come back as soon as possible and vote to convict Donald Trump, and have him removed from office now before further damage is done,” Schumer said at a press conference in New York on Tuesday.
President-elect Biden has asked Senate leaders not to allow impeachment issue to slow his agenda, which includes passing new COVID-19 relief law and confirming key leaders responsible for his new administration.
The Senate trial when Trump was first indicted by the House for abuse of power for refusing US military aid to Ukraine lasted two weeks, from Jan.21 to Feb.5, 2020.