As Democrats move ahead with impeaching President Donald Trump for “insurrection,” an effort to block him from seeking public office ever again is gaining support from Republicans.
Amidst speculation that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to banish Trump from political life, nearly two dozen former Republican lawmakers joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in vowing to take that step, the Washington Examiner reported.
Former Republicans: Banish Trump
Democrats are calling for Trump’s impeachment for his supposed “incitement of insurrection” after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol last week.
While many Republicans have blamed Trump for the chaos, the party is ambivalent on whether to impeach, with some fearing that it would divide an already deeply polarized country and anger Trump’s loyal Republican base.
Watching from the sidelines, a group of former Republican lawmakers implored Congress to “fulfill your constitutional duty,” even if there is no time to impeach Trump before he leaves office on Jan. 20. (McConnell has no plans to bring the Senate back sooner than Jan. 19, The Hill reported.)
Impeaching Trump “could help pave the way to prevent him from serving in any other federal elective or appointive office,” they said.
The former lawmakers continued, “As members of the branch that was under attack — not just politically but physically — you must remove the president from office. Congress must send a strong and clear message not just to this president but future presidents that this type of behavior will not be tolerated or accepted.”
Heading into impeachment Wednesday, Democrats were expected to find some allies in Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WI) and a handful of others.
The impeachment is driving a wedge in the GOP between pro-Trump and anti-Trump partisans, with Trump loyalists such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) calling on Cheney to resign from her position as the GOP’s conference chair.
McConnell is said to privately favor purging the party of Trump, who he blames for the party’s loss of the Senate in last week’s Georgia runoffs. If the Senate votes to convict Trump, they could then vote in a simple majority to bar him from federal office.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appealed to the necessity of keeping America “safe from this man” indefinitely.
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said.