Mitch McConnell Supports Impeachment Of Trump As GOP Support For Removal Grows
Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) reportedly believes President Donald Trump should be impeached and hopes the Democrats’ efforts will help expel him from the GOP, according to a New York Times report.
A handful of other Republicans have publicly stated they would support impeachment.
Rep. John Katko (R-New York) was the first Republican to release a statement indicating he would vote to impeach.
“To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit idly by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President,” Katko wrote on Twitter.
— Rep. John Katko (@RepJohnKatko) January 12, 2021
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) said Tuesday that Trump’s incitement of the violent mob at the U.S. Capitol constituted a “betrayal.”
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said. “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.”
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R) also said he would back impeachment.
However, enthusiasm for impeachment among Senate Republicans remains low. The articles of impeachment, which the House will vote on Wednesday, is expected to easily pass through the Democrat-led House. For removal, two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict Trump. Currently, the Senate is tied 50-50, so at least 17 Republican senators would have to cross the aisle if all members attend the session. If fewer members attend, a lower number would be needed.
More Republicans have said they would support other measures to punish Trump for his rhetoric that helped sparked the deadly protest.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has reportedly discussed censuring Trump in lieu of impeachment, even going as far as to approach House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), offering to deliver a large number of Republican votes for a censure resolution if Democrats stopped their impeachment.
Rep. Tom Reed (R-New York) similarly wrote in a New York Times op-ed that he was opposed to impeachment, but thought Trump should still face consequences.
“I implore our congressional leaders and Mr. Biden to take a moment to consider what is at stake. Work with us on constitutionally viable alternatives to ensure that no individual is above the law,” Reed said.
“Such options include censure, criminal proceedings and actions under the 14th Amendment, after a complete and thorough investigation into the events leading up to the assault on the Capitol,” he continued. ‘I intend to join with my House colleagues in the introduction of a censure resolution Tuesday to ensure accountability occurs without delay for the events of Jan. 6. We must also look at alternatives that could allow Congress to bar Mr. Trump from holding federal office in the future.”
Though the censure appears to be more popular among Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has ruled it out as an option.
Others, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), have called on Trump to resign.