Democrats moved forward on an impeachment vote after Vice President Mike Pence rejected an effort to persuade him to invoke the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution to remove Trump. “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence said in a letter Tuesday evening to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Despite the letter, the House passed a resolution late Tuesday formally calling on Pence to act. The final vote was 223-205 in favor.
As the House prepared for the impeachment vote on Wednesday, there were signs that Trump’s once-dominant hold on the Republican Party was beginning to ebb. At least seven House Republicans, including Liz Cheney, a member of her party’s leadership team, said they would vote for his second impeachment – a prospect no president before Trump has faced. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said in a statement.
Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack” on the Capitol, she said. Four other Republican House members, Jaime Herrera Beutler, John Katko, Adam Kinzinger and Fred Upton, also said they supported impeachment.
In a break from standard procedure, Republican leaders in the House have refrained from urging their members to vote against impeaching Trump, saying it was a matter of individual conscience. The New York Times reported that the Republican majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, was said to be pleased about the impeachment push, another sign that Trump’s party is looking to move on from him after the attack on Congress.