10 House Republicans, including NY congressman, vote to impeach President Trump

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Thursday, January 14, 2021
Trump impeached for 2nd time after Capitol riot
Joe Torres reports the U.S. House voting to impeach President Trump for the second time.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The unbreakable wall of Republican support that encouraged and enabled Donald Trump's norm-shattering presidency cracked on Wednesday.

A group of 10 House Republicans joined Democrats to impeach Trump for inciting a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week. The vast majority of the GOP stood by Trump. But even some of those who opposed impeachment condemned Trump's behavior and blamed him for sparking the insurrection.

The list of 10 GOP members who voted to impeach include:

Liz Cheney, WY

Gonzalez, OH

Jamie Herrera-Beutler, WA

John Katko, NY

Adam Kinzinger, Ill.

Peter Meijer, MI

Dan Newhouse, WA

Tom Rice, SC

Fred Upton, MI

David Valadao, CA

No House Republicans voted to impeach Trump in his first impeachment.

"The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters," said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., while warning that a second Trump impeachment would further divide America.

A more consequential vote awaits later this month in the Senate, where Trump's party is hardly rallying to his side. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hasn't ruled out convicting Trump, giving fellow Republicans cover if they choose that option. That step could ultimately prevent Trump from holding public office again.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will proceed with a trial and hold a vote on Trump's conviction:

"A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th. But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again. The president of the United States incited a violent mob against the duly elected government of the United States in a vicious, depraved and desperate attempt to remain in power. For the sake of our democracy, it cannot and must not be tolerated, excused, or go unpunished."

It's a dramatic turn of events for a president who has enjoyed virtually unyielding loyalty from his party over four tumultuous years in office. But the House impeachment showed how challenging the coming months will be for the GOP. While some are clearly eager to move into a post-Trump era, there's still a large bloc that will stand with him even after he fueled a riot.

Many House Republicans downplayed the significance of the insurrection and Trump's role, drawing false comparisons between the deadly storming of the Capitol by a largely white mob and isolated incidents of looting and violence related to civil rights protests last summer.

"The left in America has incited far more violence than the right," said Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who was among the 197 who opposed impeachment.

Still, the stunning nature of the mob violence shook many lawmakers. Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, gave rank-and-file conservatives the green light to abandon Trump in a scathing statement on the eve of the vote.

"There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution," she said.

New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat and an original cosponsor of the resolution, released the following statement:

"President Trump mobilized and encouraged a mob that attacked the United States Capitol, and that continues to threaten what should have been a peaceful transition of power between now and the inauguration," said Representative Malinowski. "But this is not just about the next few days. This is a message for generations to come, that Americans will not tolerate leaders who use violence and intimidation to usurp our democracy."

New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone released the following statement after voting to impeach:

"I voted to impeach President Trump today because he made it clear on January 6, 2021 that he is unfit to serve as President of the United States. The President called on domestic terrorists to come to Washington and encouraged them to attack the Capitol. These same people - his supporters - went through the Capitol hunting Members of Congress and the Vice President in order to stop the democratic transition of power. As a result, five people are dead, including a Capitol Police officer from New Jersey who was murdered by the President's violent mob. President Trump's willful incitement of insurrection poses a clear and imminent threat to our country's democracy. The House of Representatives had no choice but to once again fulfill its duty our Founders gave to Congress in the U.S. Constitution. We will not tolerate anyone who seeks to use elected office to willfully support the overthrow of a government for the people and by the people."

More ominously for Trump, McConnell believes Trump committed impeachable offenses and considers Democrats' impeachment drive an opportunity to reduce the divisive, chaotic president's hold on the GOP, a Republican strategist told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

In a note to his fellow Republican senators on Wednesday, McConnell confirmed that he had not ruled out voting to convict him in the upcoming Senate trial, which will spill into Biden's presidency.

"While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate," McConnell said.

McConnell also called major Republican donors this weekend to gauge their thinking about Trump and was adamantly told that Trump had clearly crossed a line. McConnell told them he was through with Trump, said the strategist, who demanded anonymity to describe McConnell's conversations.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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