WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — At least four Republicans said on Tuesday they would join Democrats in voting to impeach President Donald Trump over the attack on the U.S. Capitol, as Vice President Mike Pence rejected calls to use a constitutional maneuver to oust him.
With eight days remaining in Trump’s term in office, the House of Representatives was poised on Wednesday to pass an article of impeachment accusing the Republican of inciting insurrection in a speech to his followers last week before a mob of them stormed the Capitol, leaving five dead.
Even as the Democratic-led House debated a resolution that urged Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to expel Trump from office, Pence sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that said he would not comply.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence said.
Despite the letter, the House moved forward on Tuesday with a vote on the resolution after it cleared a procedural hurdle.
At the same time, at least four Republicans, including a member of the House leadership, said they would vote for his historic second impeachment.
Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, said: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” as the Democratic-led chamber moved forward on a path to remove Trump from office.
Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack” on the Capitol last Wednesday, Cheney, the daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, said in a statement, adding: “I will vote to impeach the president.”
Three other Republican House members, John Katko, Adam Kinzinger and Fred Upton, said they would also vote for impeachment.
Their announcements came as Republican leaders in the House refrained from urging their members to vote against impeaching Trump, saying it was a matter of individual conscience.
The New York Times reported that the Republican majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, was said to be pleased about the Democratic impeachment push, suggesting Trump’s party was looking to move on from him after last week’s stunning attack on Congress.
McConnell believes the impeachment effort will make it easier to purge Trump from the party, the Times said.
Meanwhile, Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday refrained from urging their members to vote against impeaching Trump, saying it was a matter of individual conscience after his supporters ransacked the Capitol.
The House plans to vote as soon as Wednesday on an article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting insurrection unless he resigns or Vice President Mike Pence moves to oust him under a provision in the U.S. Constitution.
Making his first public appearance since last Wednesday’s riot, Trump declined to take responsibility for the insurrection by his supporters who had gathered in Washington for a rally against the election results.
“What I said was totally appropriate,” Trump told reporters as he left for a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border wall near Alamo, Texas, his first public foray since the assault on the Capitol. “I want no violence.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler released a majority staff report for the impeachment of President Trump Tuesday; read the full report here:
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report