In the wake of the violence at the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, House Democrats rushed to draft new articles of impeachment to remove President Donald Trump from the White House and bar him from ever holding office again.
This new impeachment effort, launched less than two weeks before Trump is set to leave the White House anyway, has the support of more than 200 House Democrats, as per one of the drafters of the articles.
Growing support for second impeachment
The estimate on the level of Democratic support the new article of impeachment against President Trump had already received after just a couple of days — 180 cosponsors at that time — was put forward in a tweet Saturday afternoon by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), the Washington Examiner reported. By Sunday, Lieu said the number of cosponsors had risen to 210.
Lieu joined with Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Jaime Raskin (D-MD) and House Judiciary Committee staffers to draft the articles. The sole impeachment article was posted to Twitter Thursday morning by Cicilline and accused the president of “abuse of power” and “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” in the form of “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States,” based on a speech Trump gave to his supporters prior to the march in D.C. that later devolved into a riot.
NEW: I am circulating Articles of Impeachment that @RepTedLieu, @RepRaskin and I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/b92GL9Ap33
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) January 7, 2021
On Sunday Lieu confirmed rumors that the article would be formally introduced in the House on Monday. “Impeachment is one of the gravest powers of Congress. It should always be our last option. If @POTUS doesn’t resign or if @VP doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment, then we will Impeach. Tomorrow we introduce the Article of Impeachment,” Lieu tweeted on Sunday.
Will Republicans support it?
According to Forbes, Rep. Lieu believes that the impeachment article will ultimately be supported by some House Republicans, though none have stepped forward to cosponsor the effort as of yet.
Lieu told the outlet, “We strongly believe some GOP legislators will vote for the Article of Impeachment based on what they informed us confidentially.”
The California congressman declined to share the names of any Republicans who he thinks will support the impeachment effort. One likely candidate is Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), an outspoken critic of President Trump, who has demanded that Trump be removed from office, one way or another, in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill chaos on Wednesday.
What about in the Senate?
Of course, the Democrat-controlled House passing articles of impeachment against Trump without ample support for the measure from Republicans in the split Senate would be meaningless.
According to Reuters, at least three Republican senators could potentially side with their Democratic colleagues in the bid to remove Trump and/or prevent him from ever running for the presidency again.
They would include Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), both of whom have called on Trump to immediately resign, as well as Ben Sasse (R-NE), who recently told reporters that he would “definitely consider” supporting impeachment.