Representative Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, said Tuesday she would vote to indict President Donald Trump as at least four GOP lawmakers will charge the president of her own party with high crimes and misdemeanors.
She is the highest-ranking Republican to call for the impeachment of the president Trump instigated with lies and incendiary rhetoric after the deadly uprising on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., Previously said he would back the impeachment after the president stirred up a mob last week that attacked the Capitol while Congress was counting President-elect Joe Biden's presidential victory. The representatives Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Fred Upton, R-Mich. And Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., Later joined Cheney and Katko. Five people died in the riot, including a Capitol policeman.
In a statement, Cheney said Trump "called this mob, gathered the mob and lit the flame of this attack."
Liz Cheney, Chair of the Republican Conference of the House, speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 8, 2019.
Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters
"All that followed was what he did. Without the president, none of this would have happened," said the chairman of the Republican conference.
"The president could have acted immediately and forcefully to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal of his office and his oath on the Constitution by a US President."
Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday evening that he would not remove Trump from office by invoking the 25th amendment.
"I do not believe that such an approach is in the best interests of our nation or in line with our constitution," wrote Pence of the 25th amendment in a letter to Pelosi.
Pence made no explicit mention of the impeachment surge. He urged Congress, however, to "avoid measures that further divide and inflame the passions of the moment" as "we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States."
In the meantime, the House plans to vote on Wednesday whether Trump should be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats have said they have enough votes to indict the president a second time.
In a statement Tuesday night, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi named nine impeachment managers for the upcoming trial. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Will serve as lead manager. He is accompanied by Rep. David Cicilline, DR. I., Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D -Calif., Stacey Plaskett, the Democratic Delegate for the US Virgin Islands, Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., And Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa.
Once the House indicts Trump, the Senate will decide if he will be convicted. The board may not have time to vote to remove him from office before Biden takes office a week from Wednesday.
Still, a Senate conviction would prevent Trump from becoming president again.
US President Donald Trump speaks after the swearing-in ceremony of James Mattis as Secretary of Defense on January 27, 2017 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
House Republicans announced their stance when the New York Times reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Told employees he thought Trump had committed criminal offenses. The newspaper did not say whether McConnell would vote for the president's condemnation if the House sends impeachment proceedings to the Senate, or whether he would ask Republicans to vote the same way.
More Republicans could join Cheney, Katko and Kinzinger in support of the effort. No House Republicans voted in 2019 to indict Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
"Good for her to take her oath of office," said House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., In response to Cheney's support for the impeachment. "Would more Republicans keep their oath of office?"
Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, breaks off from the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy. The California Republican has spoken out against the charges against Trump. He and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., Declined to count Biden's certified election victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania following the attack on the Capitol.
Cheney is the daughter of former Vice President and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. He and nine other living Pentagon chiefs warned earlier this month not to involve the military in any dispute over election results. The Washington Post came three days before the attack on the Capitol.
Trump previously said the Democrats' urge to indict him was dangerous and could spark more violence. Some of his Republican allies have argued the effort would hamper attempts to ease tensions in the country.
Impeachment supporters said Congress shouldn't move on until they hold Trump responsible for his supporters' attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.
The impeachment article, titled "Inciting Insurrection," which Democratic leaders appear to support, accuses Trump of guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors by encouraging an attack on an equal branch of government. It is said that the president fueled the uprising by lying to his supporters about the election results for two months and then encouraging them to fight the results just before the Capitol invaded.
Days before Trump leaves office, the House went through the traditional process of getting the impeachment to a swift vote across the Chamber. In a Tuesday report in support of the impeachment, House Justice Committee officials wrote that Trump had "repeatedly tried to overturn election results" and "continued a parallel course of behavior that predictably led to the impending lawless acts of his supporters."
The report went on to say, "President Trump has committed a high level of crime and misdemeanor against the nation by instigating a riot in the Capitol to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The facts show he is unable to stay in office. " a single day longer and justify the immediate impeachment of President Trump. "
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