Several Republican lawmakers announced on Tuesday supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol attack last week, as the House of Representatives moves toward a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare the president unable to serve.
Already scheduled to leave office next week, Trump is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be twice impeached. His incendiary rhetoric at a rally ahead of the Capitol uprising is now in the impeachment charge against him, even as the falsehoods he spread about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who ranks third in House GOP leadership, said on Tuesday she will vote to impeach Trump.
“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,” Cheney said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
Trump took no responsibility for his part in instigating the mob of supporters who stormed the Capitol building when lawmakers were addressing the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The violence led to the deaths of five people.
Trump had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol. At a time when his supporters were clashing with Capitol police and security officers, who used tear gas and some even drew their guns point-blank, Trump praised his supporters and only told them on Twitter to “stay peaceful.”
Hours after the mob of his supporters stormed the building, smashed windows, occupied offices, fought with police, and both Republican and Democratic lawmakers called on him to ask his supporters to deescalate the violence, Trump finally told his “very special” supporters to “go home” in a one-minute video he posted on Twitter.
Yet, in his first appearance in public since the Capitol siege and only eight days away from the end of his presidency, Trump said: “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” in response to a question about personal responsibility regarding the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
“They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence and everybody… thought it was totally appropriate,” he said at Joint Base Andrews, before heading to Texas to sign his signature wall on the border with Mexico.
Trump went on to call preparations in Congress to impeach him “absolutely ridiculous.”
He said the move to impeach him was causing “tremendous anger” and that it was a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”
Republican Congresswoman Norma Torres urged fellow Republicans to also vote to impeach Trump. She said: “[VP Mike Pence] they wanted to hang you. You had an entire security detail to protect you, you were quickly evacuated. I was not. We were left stranded with an angry mob. Heal our wounds, invoke the #25thAmendment.”
Republican Congressman John Katko also issued a statement saying he will vote to impeach Trump: “It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection – both on social media ahead of January 6th, and in his speech that day. By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement, and division. When this manifested in violent acts on January 6th, he refused to promptly and forcefully call it off, putting countless lives in danger.”
He added: “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 by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President.”
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin called on all Republicans to support impeachment: “Our 25th Amendment Resolution calling on the Vice President to convene and mobilize the Cabinet to act on the crisis of presidential incapacity passed out of the Rules Committee by a vote of 8-4. Next stop: the House Floor. We vote tonight.”
Congressman David Cicilline shared the resolution to impeach Trump, clearly listing all the 217 co-sponsors.