In the final hours leading up to a vote in the United States House on whether to impeach President Donald Trump, five House Republicans were on record saying they would vote in favor of the move. If all 222 House Democrats and 206 remaining House Republicans vote along party lines, impeachment will pass the chamber Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 228-206 before proceeding to the Senate.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said Tuesday she supported impeachment, saying the president had “summoned” a “mob” to the Capitol. The vote could have lasting implications for Cheney, who just won a vote by her colleagues to become her party’s conference chair. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said Wednesday Republicans “ought to have a second vote” on Cheney’s position in light of the development.
Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler
Herrera Beutler, a former chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus, said in a statement that she believed her party would “be best served when those among us choose truth.”
New York Rep. John Katko
Katko, a former prosecutor and co-chair of the moderate House Republican Tuesday Group, on Tuesday became the first House Republican to announce he supported the president’s impeachment.
“As a former federal prosecutor, I approach the question of impeachment by reviewing the facts at hand,” Katko said in a statement, arguing that Trump had “encouraged” an “insurrection.”
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger
Kinzinger, an energetic critic of Trump since the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, reiterated on Tuesday that he supported impeaching the president.
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton
Upton, model Kate Upton’s uncle and another co-chair of the Tuesday group, said in a statement that he would have “preferred a bipartisan, formal censure rather than a drawn-out impeachment process” out of fear it would “interfere with important legislative business and a new Biden administration.” However, he said, “It is time to say: Enough is Enough.”
Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse
Newhouse, who served in former Democratic Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire’s Cabinet as head of the state’s Department of Agriculture before he joined Congress, announced his decision in a Wednesday statement. “Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our republic is not an option,” Newhouse said.
Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer
Meijer, a billionaire heir to the family that started the eponymous Michigan supermarket chain who first assumed office this month, announced in a statement just minutes before the final vote that he would side with Democrats, saying Trump had “betrayed his oath of office.”
If the impeachment effort succeeds in the House, it is expected to face an uphill battle in the Senate, where conviction requires 67 senators to vote in favor. Democrats will hold 50 of those votes when the chamber takes the matter up on Jan. 20.
However, according to a report over the weekend, Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — who will likely become the chamber’s minority leader before it begins considers impeachment next week has — privately expressed that he is “pleased” House Democrats are moving forward with the effort, believing it will be easier to minimize Trump in the future if they succeed.
McConnell’s support for impeachment could make it more likely to succeed, but would hinge on the final language of the impeachment resolution as well as debate among members leading up to a vote. If both of those things focus narrowly on the Jan. 6 unrest that took place in Washington, D.C., the political feasibility of explaining any vote for Trump’s impeachment would be considerably greater than if Democrats use the opportunity to address other grievances they have with the president and with Republicans more broadly.
Four more Republican senators — Mitt Romney (UT), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Pat Toomey (PA), and Ben Sasse (NE) — have also indicated that they would be open to impeaching Trump, though none in the group have offered a firm commitment to date.
The proceedings mark the second time in two years Congress has considered impeaching Trump. The House voted 229-198 in 2019 to impeach him on a charge of obstructing Congress, and by 230-197 to impeach him on the charge that he had abused power. The Senate voted to acquit him by 53-47 on the first charge and by 52-48 on the second charge, with Romney being the sole Republican to join with Democrats.
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