Democratic Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado on Wednesday confirmed anonymous reports that have been bubbling up over recent days on how some Republicans are approaching the impeachment vote.
Crow said many of his Republican colleagues are ostensibly in favor of impeachment, but fear that voting in favor of it could endanger themselves and their families.
The congressman said that while some in the GOP are “morally bankrupt” and “too far gone to be redeemed” even after the deadly attempted coup, others are “paralyzed with fear.”
“I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues last night, and a couple of them broke down in tears talking to me and saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for their impeachment,” Crow said.
“My response was — not to be unsympathetic, but — welcome to the club. That’s leadership.”
Some Republicans in Congress are ostensibly in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, but may vote against it because they are “paralyzed with fear” over threats, Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., said Wednesday.
Crow confirmed what GOP lawmakers have been relaying to reporters under the condition of anonymity in recent days, opening up about his discussions with colleagues in an MSNBC interview.
“I think we have to be honest about what it is we’re actually dealing with here,” Crow said.
“First of all, there’s a number of things that are happening on the Republican side,” he continued. “A very small handful, I think, are kind of morally bankrupt individuals who have given into these conspiracy theories, and are too far gone to be redeemed.”
However, Crow said others are in a bind because of threats they’re facing following the deadly Capitol Siege last week.
“But the majority of them are actually paralyzed with fear,” Crow said. “I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues last night, and a couple of them broke down in tears talking to me and saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for their impeachment.”
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., also called attention to the threats facing Congressional Republicans on Wednesday.
For Crow, a former US Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the brush with a potential mass casualty event last week as rioters breached the capitol means all of the lawmakers are in it together.
“My response was – not to be unsympathetic, but – welcome to the club,” Crowe said. “That’s leadership.”
The House of Representatives is poised to pass a resolution Tuesday demanding Vice President Mike Pence immediately invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office.
The vice president announced just before the vote that he won’t be doing so because it will set a “terrible precedent” and further “inflame the passions of the moment.”
The House will next move to impeach the president for “incitement of insurrection” and is expected to hold a vote on Wednesday.
Pence and Trump spoke by phone Monday evening — their first conversation since the insurrection — and “pledged to continue the work on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term,” a senior official told CNN.
Trump is facing a mountain of political and potential legal trouble after he incited a deadly riot at the US Capitol last week that resulted in five deaths.
The House of Representatives is poised to pass a resolution on Tuesday calling on Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office.
But Pence announced before the House vote that he would reject the effort and accused the House of playing “political games.” He argued that invoking the 25th Amendment would be divisive and set a “terrible precedent” that would further “inflame the passions of the moment.”
Tuesday’s resolution comes after Trump incited a deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6 while Congress was counting up the electoral votes in the 2020 election and preparing to finalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
In their resolution, lawmakers accused Trump of inciting the mob and undermining the Constitution, demonstrating “repeatedly, continuously, and spectularly his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat who helped author the resolution, said ousting the president for violating his oath of office was “the road to reconciliation” amid national turmoil. He praised Pence for ratifying the Electoral College vote last week – prompting Trump to accuse him of lacking “courage” – and urged him to “stand up again.”
“Can you imagine any other president in our history encouraging and fomenting mob violence against the Congress of the United States? Against our people? That’s the question,” Raskin said during a House Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday.
‘The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden’
Trump refused to take any responsibility for last week’s deadly siege of the Capitol, telling reporters on Tuesday that “everybody” thought his speech egging on his loyalists was “totally appropriate.” During a speech in Alamo, Texas, on Tuesday, Trump dismissed the threat of his removal through the 25th Amendment.
“The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration – as the expression goes, be careful what you wish for,” he said.
Trump also warned that the effort to impeach him is “causing tremendous anger and division and pain” and is “dangerous for the USA especially at this very tender time.”
Business Insider reported last week that the vice president, who was presiding over Congress, is not inclined to take the drastic step of removing the president via the 25th Amendment. On Monday evening, he and Trump spoke by phone for the first time since the riot and pledged to continue their work until the end of their terms, again signaling that Trump will not be removed by his Cabinet.
This comes as an increasing number of Republican lawmakers have announced or suggested that they’ll vote to impeach the president for inciting an insurrection. Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-highest ranking House Republican, joined GOP Reps. John Katko and Adam Kinzinger in announcing on Tuesday evening that they support the president’s impeachment.
At a rally shortly before Congress convened last week, the president called on his supporters to march to the Capitol and stop the peaceful transfer of power.
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he told thousands of people who had gathered to hear him speak. “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
“We’re going to have to fight much harder,” Trump added, before unleashing the mob.
Thousands of Trump supporters overran the US Capitol, hunting for lawmakers
The attempted coup resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer who died after Trump supporters struck him with a fire extinguisher. Rioters breached barriers outside the Capitol, swarmed the building, ransacked lawmakers’ offices, vandalized property, and stole records that the Justice Department said may have contained “national security equities.”
Pence was quickly evacuated along with senior lawmakers, while other members of Congress sheltered in place or behind makeshift barricades with Hill staffers and reporters.
Additional footage and media reports that have come out since the riot indicate it could have been far deadlier had lawmakers not been evacuated in time. A crowd of Trump supporters chanted “Hang Mike Pence” outside the Capitol, and a Reuters photojournalist said he overheard three rioters talking about wanting to hang him “from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.”
One man who has since been arrested sent a text message before the insurrection saying he was going to “put a bullet” in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “on live TV.” Another was arrested while carrying 11 Molotov cocktails. And several rioters who were photographed inside the Capitol were seen carrying zip ties used to take hostages and dressed in tactical gear.
After the insurrection, it surfaced that many members of the mob are active law enforcement officers and ex-military personnel, and police departments across the country have since launched investigations to determine if members of their forces took part in the attempted coup.
Pence, for his part, was livid with the president amid the riot and refused to be evacuated to a safe location outside the Capitol grounds.
“I’ve known Mike Pence forever,” Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe told the Tulsa World newspaper last Wednesday. “I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”
At least three House Republicans have come out in support of President Donald Trump’s impeachment after he incited a deadly riot at the US Capitol last week.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is widely expected to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump on Wednesday and charge him with “incitement of insurrection.” The New York Times reported that the White House expects roughly two dozen Republicans to break ranks and come out in support of impeachment.
“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 in a statement. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president.”
Shortly after, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the chair of the House Republican Conference and the third highest-ranking GOP lawmaker in the chamber, also announced her support for impeachment.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” she said in a statement. “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not.”
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger also released a statement saying he would back the president’s impeachment. On Thursday, one day after the Capitol siege, Kinzinger was the first GOP lawmaker to call for Trump’s removal via the 25th Amendment.
“On January 6, 2020, the President of the United States encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes,” the Illinois Republican said in his statement announcing support for impeachment. “This angry mob turned violent and caused destruction to our nation’s symbol of democracy. This insurrection led to countless injuries and the death of several people, including two of our U.S. Capitol Police Officers.”
He continued: “There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oat of office and incited this insurrection. I will vote in favor of impeachment.”
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey also said publicly that Trump violated his oath of office.
“I do think the president committed impeachable offenses,” Toomey told Fox News. “I’m not sure it’s desirable to attempt to force him out, what, a day or two or three prior to the day on which he’s going to be finished anyway … so I’m not clear that’s the best path forward.”
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski called on the president to resign and said if the GOP couldn’t separate itself from Trump, she may leave the party. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse also said he would seriously consider any articles of impeachment against the president in the wake of the violence.
The House Judiciary Committee issued an impeachment report on Tuesday saying it is “indisputable” that President Donald Trump “encouraged – and that his actions foreseeably resulted in – the terrorist attack that occurred.”
The report, which refers to the deadly Capitol insurrection on January 6, painted Trump as an ongoing “risk” to the US, even with his presidency set to end in just over a week.
“Trump’s incitement of mob violence against the Capitol is clearly part of a broader pattern of encouraging lawless behavior and official action where it serves to aggrandize his own power,” the report said. “Especially in light of the accelerating pace of these events as the end of President Trump’s term comes to a close, the risk that that pattern will continue and repeat itself even in the final days of his administration is great.”
The conclusion of the report underscored the need to impeach Trump to send a message to all future presidents that the behavior he’s exhibited – from refusing to concede to President-elect Joe Biden to inciting a violent insurrection – will not be tolerated.
“The House must impeach President Trump to make clear for all future officeholders that our Constitution rejects President Trump’s behavior,” the report stated. “Even wrongly assuming that President Trump poses no ongoing threat, impeachment sends the strongest possible message that, as John Adams said, we are a ‘government of laws, and not of men.'”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she believes President Donald Trump should be impeached because “every minute” he stays in office “represents a clear and present danger” to Congress and the Country.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would could move to impeach Trump this week if Vice President Mike Pence does not answer the chamber’s calls to invoke the 25th amendment.
“It is an act of insurrection. It is an act of hostility,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And we must have accountability because without it, it will happen again.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she believes President Donald Trump should be impeached in light of the Capitol siege because “every minute” he is in office “represents a clear and present danger.”
Ocasio-Cortez appeared on a Sunday segment of “This Week” with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, where she said she believes impeachment should be scheduled for the president.
“Our main priority is to ensure the removal of Donald Trump as president of the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday. “Every minute and every hour that he is in office represents a clear and present danger, not just to the United States Congress but frankly to the country.”
In addition to removing the president, Ocasio-Cortez said the House is also considering the “complete barring” of Trump from “running for office ever again” and to prevent him from “pardoning himself from those charges that he was impeached for,” she said during the interview.
Some GOP lawmakers wrote a letter to President-elect Joe Biden, asking him to formally request that Pelosi and the House stop their pursuit of Trump’s impeachment for a second time “in the spirit of healing and fidelity to our Constitution.”
The New York congresswoman said the “process of healing” doesn’t require dropping a potential impeachment, but “accountability.”
“We have to understand that what happened on Wednesday was insurrection against the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “That is what Donald J. Trump engaged in, and that is what those people in the Capitol engaged in. So when we talk about healing, the process of healing is separate, and in fact, requires accountability.”
“So if we allow insurrection against the United States with impunity – with no accountability- we are inviting it to happen again. That is how serious it is,” she said. “Perhaps my colleagues weren’t in that room, perhaps my colleagues were not fully present for the events on Wednesday, but we came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday.”
Ocasio-Cortez said if another head of state had “ordered an attack” on Congress,” then lawmakers would not allow it to go unanswered, and therefore, Wednesday’s siege on the Capitol should not be treated that way.
“It is an act of insurrection. It is an act of hostility,” she said. “And we must have accountability because without it, it will happen again.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a letter Sunday that impeachment proceedings will begin this week if Vice President Mike Pence does not respond to calls to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Should the House successfully impeach Trump, a Senate trial would determine whether or not to remove him from office, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that trial wouldn’t happen until after the end of Trump’s term.
Calls to remove Trump from office have grown since the deadly riots at the US Capitol by a mob of the president’s supporters.
In a letter sent to her Democratic colleagues Sunday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said impeachment proceedings will start this week if Vice President Mike Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment.
“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” Pelosi said in the letter, obtained by CNN. “As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetuated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
Pelosi said the House will first seek to pass a resolution calling on Pence to activate the 25th Amendment, which would allow the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare President Donald Trump unable to fulfill his duties.
Unless the House unanimously agrees to the resolution on Monday, which is unlikely, the House will vote on the resolution Tuesday and give Pence 24 hours to respond.
If the vice president declines to act, the House will then proceed with impeachment legislation, Pelosi said in the letter.
The timeline Pelosi outlines in the letter means the House could move forward with impeachment on Wednesday this week, one week after the deadly riots at the US Capitol by a mob of the president’s supporters.
Should the House successfully impeach Trump, for the second time, a Senate trial would determine whether or not to remove him from office.
Calls to remove Trump from office have grown since the Capitol siege and are coming from Democratic and Republican lawmakers. House Democrats almost immediately began planning to impeachment the president for “incitement of insurrection.”
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government,” a draft article of impeachment obtained by CNN said. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinated branch of government.”
“President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States,” the draft said.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said in no uncertain terms that President Donald Trump’s recent conduct was grounds for impeachment; however, cautioned Congress “to be practical” before going to trial.
“There is no doubt about it he should be impeached,” Manchin said during a CNN interview on Sunday. “But if we can’t, you have to be practical about what we are doing now.”
Manchin, who has been critical of Trump’s rhetoric about contesting the results of the US presidential election, stressed that the timing of an impeachment did not “make any common sense whatsoever,” given that the Senate is scheduled to come back from recess and resume regular business on January 19, one day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration date.
“We are ready to install a new government,” Manchin said. “If I was Joe Biden, I’d want to be able to put my government together.”
Democrats in the House have threatened to bring forth articles of impeachment against Trump, the second during his presidency, as early as Monday.
In a memo first reported by The Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlined his plan in case Democrats begin the proceedings before Biden’s inauguration date. McConnell wrote that the earliest the Senate would take up the matter would be January 19, given that any decision made before coming back from recess would require a unanimous decision from a Republican-majority Senate – an unlikely scenario.
“I hope people would look at two paths: you got a political path and you got a judicial path,” Manchin said. “I think the judicial path could be the one to give us the best results to stop this silliness within politics, this dangerous insidious type of speech that you have.”
Manchin, a moderate voice in the Senate, is a key vote for Democrats during a deadlock. Manchin’s vote is still essential in the upcoming year, despite Democrats having the majority of members in both chambers of Congress. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaker in the event of a 50-50 split.
An increasing number of Republican and Democratic lawmakers have called for impeaching Trump, following the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill. Prior to the rioters storming Congress, Trump hosted an event near the White House to galvanize supporters to “never concede” in disputing the results of the presidential election.
The subsequent riot claimed the lives of at least five people, including one Capitol Hill police officer.
President Trump is considering appointing his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and the high-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz to his defense team in case he faces another impeachment trial this week, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
Dershowitz, who previously represented the notorious billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, already said he would be willing to take on the job.
“He [Trump] has not committed a constitutionally impeachable offense and I would be honored to once again defend the Constitution against partisan efforts to weaponize it for political purposes,” Dershowitz told The Hill on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Trump’s original team of lawyers who defended him during his first impeachment trial in December 2019, are unlikely to be rejoining him, CNN reports.
These include constitutional attorney Jay Sekulow and attorney Jane Raskin, as well as White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who is said to have considered resigning in recent days.
Trump was impeached by the House in December 2019 on articles for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Republican-controlled US Senate ended up acquitting Trump on both articles in January 2020.
According to a memo sent to Republican Senators by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this week, there is no way Trump could be removed from office before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated because the Senate is in recess until January 19.
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Saturday said that President Donald Trump has “committed impeachable offenses.”
During an interview on Fox News, Toomey said that he was unsure if the Senate would move on any articles of impeachment passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives before Trump’s term ends in less than two weeks.
Toomey is retiring after the 2022 midterms elections.
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, who has ardently supported the validity of the 2020 presidential election results, said on Saturday that President Donald Trump has “committed impeachable offenses.”
During an interview on Fox News, Toomey, a two-term Pennsylvania senator who is retiring after the 2022 midterm elections, said he was unsure if the Senate would move on any articles of impeachment passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives before Trump’s term ends in less than two weeks.
“I don’t know what they are going to send over and one of the things that I’m concerned about, frankly, is whether the House would completely politicize something,” he said.
He continued: “I do think the president committed impeachable offenses, but I don’t know what’s going to land on the Senate floor if anything.”
The Jan. 6 siege at the Capitol, which represented the building’s worst breach since 1814, forced members of Congress to temporarily halt the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory until the complex was cleared.
Trump, who has been widely criticized for his involvement in the protests aimed at contesting the 2020 election results, as well as the aftermath of the riots, is seeing cracks appear in the once impenetrable base of support among the congressional GOP.
Toomey joins other congressional Republicans in rebuking Trump, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who wants the president to resign, along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who would like to see Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet members use the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.
GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said during a CBS interview on Friday that he would “definitely consider whatever articles” the House might end up passing.
“I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office,” Sasse said. “He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. He acted against that.”
On Friday, GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky passed around a memo revealing that a Senate impeachment trial could not begin until Jan. 20, which is also Biden’s inauguration day, unless every senator agrees to begin a session beforehand.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a memo to Republican Senators explaining how an impeachment trial would play out, The Washington Post reported.
House Democrats have said they plan to impeach President Donald Trump for “incitement of an insurrection” following a deadly siege on the US Capitol by a violent mob of the president’s supporters.
According to McConnell’s timeline in the memo obtained by The Post, there is no way Trump could be removed from office before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20.
Since certifying the election results in the early morning hours of Thursday, the Senate is in recess until January 19 and therefore cannot begin impeachment trial proceedings before then without the unlikely consent of all 100 senators, McConnell said.
If the House does send articles of impeachment, the Senate can receive and respond when it returns on January 19. However, McConnell said the Senate Impeachment Rules require members of the House to exhibit the articles one day after the Senate says it is prepared to receive them.
Without the Senate requesting them early, that would mean January 20, Inauguration Day.
McConnell concluded the Senate trial would ultimately begin either one hour or 25 hours after the conclusion of Trump’s term.
At the start of Biden’s term, Sen. Chuck Schumer will take over from McConnell as majority leader, putting him at the helm of the impeachment trial.
Aides to the senators told The Post that Schumer and McConnell have not discussed the impeachment trial.
In a draft article of impeachment, House Democrats said, “President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government.”
“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinated branch of government,” the draft said.
The White House denounced the possible impeachment in a statement: “A politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”