Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times has a featured article this morning reporting that Republican Party leaders such as Mitch McConnell and Liz Cheney will be supporting the impeachment of Donald Trump. Whether there will be enough Republicans especially in the Senate to impeach is still a question. Here is an excerpt from the article written by Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Fandos.
“Senator Mitch McConnell has concluded that President Trump committed impeachable offenses and believes that Democrats’ move to impeach him will make it easier to purge Mr. Trump from the party, according to people familiar with Mr. McConnell’s thinking.
The private assessment of Mr. McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Congress, emerged on the eve of a House vote to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country for his role in whipping up a mob of his supporters who stormed the Capitol while lawmakers met to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
In a sign that the dam could be breaking against Mr. Trump in a party that has long been unfailingly loyal to him, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House, announced her intention to support the single charge of high crimes and misdemeanors, as other party leaders declined to formally lobby rank-and-file lawmakers to oppose it.
“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Ms. Cheney said in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Even before Mr. McConnell’s position was known and Ms. Cheney had announced her plans, advisers to the Senate Republican leader had already privately speculated that a dozen Republican senators — and possibly more — could ultimately vote to convict Mr. Trump in a Senate trial that would follow his impeachment by the House. Seventeen Republicans would most likely be needed to join Democrats in finding him guilty. After that, it would take a simple majority to disqualify Mr. Trump from ever again holding public office.
In the House, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he ought to call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of last week’s riot at the Capitol, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations. While he has said he is personally opposed to impeachment, he and other party leaders did not mount an official effort to defeat the push, and Mr. McCarthy was working on Tuesday to build support for a censure resolution to rebuke the president for his actions.
Taken together, the stances of Congress’s two top Republicans — neither of whom has said publicly that Mr. Trump should resign or be impeached — reflected the politically fraught and fast-moving nature of the crisis the party faces. After four years of backing the president at nearly every turn and refusing to condemn even his most extreme behavior, party leaders were racing to distance themselves from a president many of them now regard as a political and constitutional threat.”
It would be great if McConnell and Cheney back impeachment, but I will believe it when I see it!