Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives, said Tuesday she would vote to impeach President Donald Trump over his incitement of violence last week at the US Capitol.
Using stronger language than most in her party have employed to date to describe the president’s actions and guilt, Cheney said in a statement to press that Trump had “summoned this mob, assembled this mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”
“Everything that followed was his doing,” she said. “None of this would have happened without the President.”
She also castigated Trump, the leader of her party, for not intervening sooner and more forcefully to stop the violence.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” she said. “I will vote to impeach the President.”
There are now three House Republicans who will support impeaching Trump. Cheney’s announcement was quickly followed by one from Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who had previously said that Trump should resign or be removed from office by Vice President Mike Pence via the 25th Amendment.
On Sunday, Kinzinger told ABC News he was worried impeachment wasn’t the “smart move” because it “victimizes Donald Trump.” But on Tuesday, Kinzinger said in a statement that Trump had “violated his oath and incited the insurrection,” saying that if Trump’s actions aren’t “worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachment offense?”
Earlier Tuesday, New York Rep. John Katko announced that he would vote for impeachment, saying, “to allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy.”
When Trump was first impeached over his dealings with Ukraine, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican in the House or Senate to vote against the president.
Democrats are expected to formally begin impeachment proceedings on Wednesday.
According to the New York Times, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is privately supportive of impeachment.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who voted with 146 other Republicans to try to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s win after the Capitol riots on Wednesday — is not pushing his members one way or the other on the vote and has discussed whether he should call on Trump to resign, the Times reported.
Trump, however, told media on Tuesday that he had done nothing wrong. He denied that his lies about electoral fraud had incited his supporters to cause a deadly riot.
“People thought what I said was totally appropriate,” he said.
He also blasted Democrats for moving to impeach him, calling it a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”
“I think it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said.