House Democrats may have gained a powerful ally in their effort to impeach disgraced outgoing President Donald Trump, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly backs them.
The push to impeach Trump for a second time began last week in response to the failed insurrection at the Capitol, an attempted coup that Trump instigated.
Despite the terrorist attack and Trump’s role in it, many Republicans still oppose impeachment and have been begging Democrats to abandon the effort even though it’s absolutely necessary to hold him accountable.
But the effort is only gaining steam as 218 Democrats have signed on to the resolution. Even at least one Republican will vote to impeach Trump according to the Syracuse Post-Standard, which quoted Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.).
“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president. It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection – both on social media ahead of January 6th, and in his speech that day. By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement, and division. When this manifested in violent acts on January 6th, he refused to promptly and forcefully call it off, putting countless lives in danger.”
With impeachment assured in the House, it’s now on the Senate to convict. And that may have gotten easier because McConnell is reportedly on board according to the New York Times.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.
Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky has indicated he wants to see the specific article of impeachment that the House is set to approve on Wednesday, which is expected to draw support from as many as a dozen Republicans, potentially including Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 in the House. But he has made clear in private discussions that he believes now is the moment to move on the weakened lame duck, whom he blames for Republicans losing the Senate.
McConnell must realize that impeaching Trump would only help his party in the long term. Trump would be eliminated as a presidential candidate in 2024 because he would be permanently barred from running for office.
McConnell could be joined by Senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and other moderates who have condemned the insurrection. It’s time for Republicans to stand up for the country instead of cowering to Trump. If McConnell seriously backs impeachment, he needs to reconvene the Senate this week and say so on the Senate floor.
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