The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted earlier this month to impeach then-President Donald Trump, making him the first commander in chief to be impeached twice.
Ahead of a Senate trial, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has declined to reveal how he expects to vote — and some in his party are threatening that voting to convict Trump could cost him his GOP leadership position.
“They tried to use fear”
A handful of House Republicans supported the latest impeachment effort, arguing that Trump bore some responsibility for inciting a violent riot on Capitol Hill.
McConnell has similarly lashed out at the former president over his rhetoric in a rally prior to the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol building that resulted in multiple deaths, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
“The mob was fed lies,” the Senate’s top Republican claimed during remarks from the Senate floor on Tuesday, as Breitbart reported. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
His position does not seem to be resonating among the majority of his caucus, however, and some are beginning to question whether they will continue supporting him in his position of leadership.
One unnamed GOP senator said that if McConnell votes to convict, it is unknown “if he can stay as leader.”
“Show me the clip”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) was among the Senate Republicans willing to speak on the record, asserting: “I don’t even think we should be having a trial.”
In remarks on Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made it clear that he is not on board with McConnell’s remarks.
“I don’t agree with him,” he said, according to Newsweek. “That would be a crime, to provoke somebody, to incite them to violence. Show me the clip where he did that.”
In the House, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has already faced backlash over her decision to vote in favor of impeachment, with some in the GOP backing an effort to oust her from a leadership post.
The Wyoming Republican Party also issued a statement last week, noting that party members “vehemently disagree with Representative Cheney’s decision and actions.”