Republican lawmakers face a grim choice in the vote to impeach and convict President Donald Trump. To do so threatens their chances of reelection as Trump supporters make up such a large portion of the GOP voting base. The other is to do nothing about the president who invited an angry mob to the capitol on Jan. 6 and then directed them to the Capitol Building, where they killed two police officers and threatened the lives of our elected leaders.
The choice is between political ambitions and the oath to protect the country.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 13, 2021
On Tuesday, six House Republicans said they were bringing a resolution to the floor to censure Trump rather than impeach him, claiming that it would be a better choice to unify the country. A censure is a formal rebuke which carries no consequences other than the shame of having been censured, though Trump seems to have little shame, anyway. They indicated that they believed that the Senate would fail to convict him, making the effort to impeach a waste of time.
According to The Hill, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said that:
‘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.’
Several GOP sources say tonight that if McConnell supports conviction, Trump almost certainly will be convicted by 67 senators in impeachment trial.
"If Mitch is a yes, he's done," said one Senate Republican who asked to be named. Many Rs are staying mum https://t.co/JOOmuKwhNc
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 12, 2021
However, that declaration came before it was reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believed the president has committed impeachable offenses and that removing him from office was the best way to purge the Trump stain from the GOP. It can be reasonably assumed that McConnell facilitated the leaking of that story in order to indicate to other Republican senators that he’s open to convicting the president. He has made no effort to whip the vote in the Republican Senate either way, and has left it up to each member to vote their conscience.
McConnell has not made a formal announcement indicating whether he will vote to impeach Trump, however. According to The New York Times:
‘Mr. McConnell has indicated that he wants to see the specific article of impeachment that the House is set to approve on Wednesday, and hear the eventual arguments in the Senate.’
At least four GOP members of the House have stated publicly that they will support the impeachment of President Trump, making it a far more bipartisan effort than Trump’s first impeachment, when not a single Republican voted for impeachment. Rep. John Kasko (R-NY), Rep. Adam Kinziger (R-IL), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) have all given statements in support of impeaching the president.
In a statement, Cheney said:
‘Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
‘I will vote to impeach the President.’
Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said that she would vote to impeach President Trump, saying there had “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States” than Trump’s incitement of a mob that attacked the Capitol last week. https://t.co/FBq4au7Pi1
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 13, 2021