WASHINGTON – With the impeachment vote on Wednesday, Republicans stand on the verge of a historic decision whether to punish or protect the president, which many say is a push to the US Capitol to reverse the election result. Provoked a deadly rush for.
The decision can define the party and shape American democracy for generations to come.
A handful of House Republicans supported the impeachment, most notably by third-ranking Repping Liz Cheney, Wyoming, who said President Donald Trump had “ignited the attack” and that he had an unprecedented “betrayal” of his oath Charged. Constitution.
Other Republicans who announced support for impeachment on Tuesday were Reps. John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beatler of Washington. The impeachment measure, with or without Republican support, is likely to be routed through the Democratic-led House.
What happens after that is not clear. The Senate requires a two-thirds majority to convict a president, meaning that at least 17 Republican Democrats will need to join if the vote is taken after January 20. This is a tall order.
History looms. And for some who want to take a break from Trump and create a new path for the Republican Party, time is running short.
“It certainly seems like the best chance for the man to stand up while it still matters,” said Donny Donovan, a lobbyist and former GOP campaign operative. “Republicans can speak now or they can at least follow the path of resistance, but at some point there will be a reimbursement, and it will come at a political cost.”
The political calculations for GOP lawmakers are complex as the party’s key voters have stayed and supported Trump’s landless claims of massive fraud in the 2020 election.
The result could center on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., A Trump aide who broke up with him on 6 January. The presidential election is a malicious plea to confirm Joe Biden’s victory. But McConnell’s intentions are unclear. His office did not comment on the impeachment on Tuesday.
Others say that his position can determine the outcome.
“I think if McConnell supports the sentence in the Senate, there will be votes to convict the president,” a senior Republican aide who pleaded to speak with anonymity.
A Quinnipiac poll that followed the violence in the Capitol found that among Republicans, 71 percent approved Trump’s job performance and 73 percent believed he was protecting, not undermining democracy. Of the voters overall, 60 percent disapprove of his performance, and 60 percent said he is undercutting, not protecting, democracy.
Rory Cooper, an adviser and former House GOP leader who is important to Trump, said, “Political calculus is impossible for members to ignore, but if there was ever a time, it is now.”
“The public’s reaction to the Capitol attack is almost universally negative because since the vote, so condemning you for those incidents and those events only gives a political shock and gives some shielding to the members,” he said. said. “Elections have not been held for two years and so the electoral risk today is low and increases rapidly.”
The House voted Tuesday to pass a measure calling for Vice President Mike Pence to implement the 25th Amendment and remove Trump, as well as disqualify him from serving by a majority of the cabinet. It was a symbolic vote that had no practical effect because Pence had already made it clear on Tuesday that he would not do so, and Congress lacked the authority to force him.
Several Republicans rose to defend Trump during a debate on Tuesday night, accusing Democrats of being divisive.
“Why are Democrats setting fire instead of being engulfed in flames?” Asked by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arrys, who recently supported the effort to reverse the election result by voting against the count of electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania.
The 25th amendment measure was just a preamble to the main event on Wednesday, when the House is prompted to vote on an article of impeachment, accusing the president with the “Insertion of Insurrection”.
If it blames Trump, the Senate has the power to prevent him from holding office again, a move that could quickly change the size of the 2024 primary and make way for a new type of GOP leader. Republican voters may not do so, but it has some appeal among lawgivers.
“I think there is a large majority in both chambers that aspire to an outcome where Trump cannot run for public office again,” Cooper said.