Republican Rep. Liz Cheney says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

The Wyoming congresswoman, the No. 3 Republican in the House, said in a statement today that Trump “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”

She says, “Everything that followed was his doing.”

She also notes that Trump could have immediately intervened to stop his supporters, but he did not.

Cheney says, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Cheney is a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Trump himself has taken no responsibility for his role in inciting the attackers.

New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach Trump.

Said Katko: “To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president.”

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes 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 on Wednesday to formally charge Trump with inciting violence against the country.

At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.

While McCarthy has said he is personally opposed to impeachment, he and other party leaders have decided not to formally lobby Republicans to vote “no,” and an aide to McCarthy said he was open to a measure censuring Trump for his conduct.

In private, McCarthy reached out to a leading House Democrat to see if the chamber would be willing to pursue a censure vote, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ruled it out.

Taken together, the stances of Congress’s two top Republicans — neither of whom has said publicly that Trump should resign or be impeached — reflected the politically challenging and fast-moving nature of the crisis that the party faces after the assault by a pro-Trump mob during a session to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

As more violent images from the mayhem wrought by the rioters emerged today, including of the brutal attack that ultimately killed a Capitol Police officer, and as lawmakers were briefed about threats of more attacks on the Capitol, rank-and-file Republican lawmakers grew angrier about the president’s role in the violence.

Yet as they attempted to balance the affection their core voters have for Trump with the now-undeniable political and constitutional threat he posed, Republican congressional leaders who have loyally backed the president for four years were still stepping delicately.

Their refusal to demand the president’s resignation and quiet plotting about how to address his conduct highlighted the gnawing uncertainty that they and many other Republicans have about whether they would pay more of a political price for abandoning him or for continuing to enable him after he incited a mob to storm the seat of government.

 

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