Republican Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House GOP leader, said she will vote to impeach Donald Trump, a major split within the party after the president's supporters stormed the Capitol last week.
“On Jan. 6, 2021, a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes,” Cheney, of Wyoming, said in a statement. “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”
The House is poised to vote as soon as Wednesday on a single article of impeachment accusing Trump of inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol. Trump on Tuesday rejected taking any responsibility for the assault, which occurred after he addressed a rally near the White House.
Cheney also faulted Trump for not stepping in after the riot started.
“The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. 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.”
Another Republican representative, New York’s John Katko, also said he would back Trump’s impeachment.
“To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President.”
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, had previous public breaks with the president -- on foreign policy, how he’s handled the coronavirus pandemic and her backing of a primary challenger to Republican Representative Tom Massie of Kentucky.
She has been a target of internal GOP criticism from Trump allies, such as House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs of Arizona, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio and Representative Chip Roy of Texas.
However when Democrats brought impeachment charges against Trump in 2019, Cheney was a staunch defender of the president. She also regularly voted in favor of his agenda.
Several Republicans have blamed Trump for the violent Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by his supporters. Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman said Monday in a statement that “Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his actions afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened on Jan. 6.”
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