WASHINGTON – As the debate erupted on the floor of the US House before President Donald Trump voted to impeach last week’s riots, the growing divide within the Republican caucus over the president’s actions was clearly on display.
Many Republicans were less willing to defend the president, in contrast to the previous year’s impeachment debate. Instead, much of the process of Republican criticism focuses on the complaints and predictions that Trump will arrive at, only to inflame tensions.
And while some Trump allies defended the president directly, it was far from the focal point of the GOP argument.
During the first round of debate on the articles of impeachment of the House, Republicans did not even use the entire hour allotted to them.
Rape Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican leading the first round of debates as the top GOP jurist on the House Rules Committee, criticized the riots as part of the GOP, calling the attack “the darkest day of my time of service.” Gone.
And when he turned to his opposition to impeachment, he made an argument that the country needed to be united, and he believed that impeachment would best serve that goal.
“I can think that the House cannot take any action that is likely to separate the American people from further action that we are considering today,” he said.
He said, ‘We need medicine for the American people. Therefore, it is unfortunate that the path that the majority has chosen today is not the path to support medicine. Instead, the House is moving forward, erroneously, with a lay-off process. “
Apart from Cole, only half a dozen Republicans stood to speak in that first round. Some offered other suggestions for things like a commission to investigate the attack, some fanned the violence, some pushed for impeachment as politically motivated, and others most recently Disappointed with the speed of the impeachment process.
But no one defended the president.
The pleas prompted Leader of the House Stanny Hoyer, D-Md., To push for the handing over of Illinois Rep. Adam Adamzinger, who was one of the few Republicans to support impeachment.
He said, ‘They don’t need any long, drawn thought. ‘If this action is not eligible for impeachment, is it a crime?’ ‘Hoyer said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath and incited this rebellion.”
The tone changed, however, in the second round of the debate, which began on Wednesday afternoon. This time, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a close confidant of Trump, controlled the GOP’s speaking time. And the president’s defense intensified a little, even as most of the attention still remained on process complaints and concerns, impeachment would not help unify the country.
When Jordan spoke during that second round, he pointed to the president’s accomplishments in office and accused Democrats of “second-rate” for political purposes. But he offered a clear defense to any of the issues described in the President’s actions, or impeachment articles, on 6 January.
“It has always been about the President, no matter what. It is a passion, ”Jordan said.
“It is no longer about impeachment, it is about cancellation.”
The president’s first real defense came in a second round of debate when, just before 1 pm ET, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-California, argued that while he disagreed greatly with the president’s recent conduct, he did not do it. Believe he instigated the riots.
“If we impeached every politician who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of partisan people, this capitol would be deserted. They did everything the President did, ”he said. “He specifically asked the crowd to protest peacefully and patriotically and most of them did.”
And shortly after, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa offered a mild defense of the president while accusing Democrats of using the attack to achieve their long-term goal.
“The President has worked equally for four years. Issa said, he has blocked his base and called for a truly peaceful protest.
“Today, we’re trying to punish the president, at least some, for the four years of what he did, not for what happened last week.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy intensified the tight move when he took to the floor on Wednesday afternoon, where he called a vote in favor of impeachment a “mistake”, then instead asked him to close it and told the House Must see more facts.
McCarthy said, “One vote of impeachment will further divide the nation. One vote of impeachment will further ignite the flames of partisan division. Most Americans neither want inaction or retaliation,” McCarthy said. “The President is responsible for Wednesday’s attacks on Congress by mob rioters. When he looked in front, he should have immediately condemned the mob,”
But a Republican rejected his party’s procedural arguments to announce his support for impeachment to the president.
“These articles of impeachment are flawed, but I will not use the process as an excuse, there is no excuse for President Trump’s actions,” said Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.
“The President swore to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Last week, there was a domestic threat at the Capitol’s door, and he did nothing to stop it. That is why, with a heavy heart. Clear Resolve, I will make yes. “