US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is reportedly “pleased” with recent impeachment efforts taken up by Democrats in the US House of Representatives, as he believes the push will make it much easier to “purge” the president from the Republican Party.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the New York Times reported Tuesday that the Republican official informed associates that Trump had “committed impeachable offenses” in relation to the deadly riots that forced congressional lawmakers to temporarily abandon efforts to certify the results of the US presidential election.
Although McConnell previously voted to acquit Trump during Democrats’ push to impeach Trump over the Russiagate allegations, recent reports suggest the Kentucky official has had a change of heart and blames the commander-in-chief for Republicans losing their hold on the US Senate after the Georgia runoff elections shifted control of the chamber to Democrats.
However, McConnell isn’t alone.
While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has stated he is not in support of impeaching Trump, reports suggest he isn’t planning on lobbying members to vote against the House impeachment procedures. Additionally, sources have stated the lawmaker reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to see whether the chamber would consider censuring Trump over the role he played in inciting rioters, a request that was promptly denied, the Times reported.
But that’s not all, folks.
Breaking from McCarthy’s public statement, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the number three Republican in the House, announced she will be voting in favor of impeaching the president. In a statement, Cheney fully blamed Trump for the insurrection, saying he “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”
In light of the Capitol riots, House lawmakers immediately began initiating talks on how to remove Trump from the White House after his remarks at the “Stop the Steal” rally encouraged thousands of his supporters to march toward the US Capitol, where a joint session of Congress was working to certify US President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.
Within moments of lawmakers beginning their first debate on the results, rioters broke past security barriers and began to trespass the grounds, developments which promptly saw many officials evacuated from their respective chambers and taken into a secure bunker. US Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the electoral certification, was among those taken to safety.
The first of the two options considered by lawmakers - invoking the 25th Amendment - will be voted on late Tuesday; however, on Wednesday, officials will take up votes on a single impeachment article against Trump for incitement of insurrection. If the House approves the article, it will be the second time the chamber has impeached Trump.
For his part, Trump has brushed off any blame for the violent unrest. At a speaking event in Texas on Tuesday, the president remarked that the 25th Amendment vote poses “zero risk to me,” and that the impeachment measure is a “continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger, division and pain.”