As House Democrats speed toward impeaching President Trump for a second time, numerous Republicans declared that holding the commander in chief accountable for inciting a violent assault on Congress would further divide the nation and urged their colleagues to turn the page for the sake of unity and healing.
“It is past time for all of us to try to heal our country and move forward,” lectured GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s staunchest allies for the past four years and a supporter of the president’s false claims that the election was beset by widespread fraud.
“If Democrats say they want unity, this isn’t the way to show it,” scolded Representative Ted Budd, Republican of North Carolina, who voted to overturn the 2020 election results last week, despite results being certified in every state and courts knocking down dozens of challenges.
Their comments echoed Trump’s own take on the push to impeach him again. Speaking publicly for the first time since the day of the siege, Trump on Tuesday called the effort a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics” and said it is “causing tremendous danger to our country.”
Republicans’ eagerness to sprint past an event without precedent in American history — which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer killed by an angry mob — marks the culmination of more than four years of GOP officials taking cover under platitudes in place of principled action.
Once again, many Republican lawmakers appear ruled by fear that crossing Trump will upend their own political prospects — or perhaps, as some critics charge, a cynical desire to curry favor with the president’s most ardent supporters. Several polls conducted in recent days show that a large majority of Republican voters oppose Trump’s immediate removal.
...Democrats remain undeterred, united in rage at last week’s violent assault on the Capitol, in which a mob of pro-Trump supporters broke through security lines, shattered windows, pillaged congressional offices, smeared feces in marble hallways, and sent lawmakers, aides, and journalists into hiding.
The House on Tuesday night approved a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump with a Cabinet vote, although Pence had already said he would not do so.
So on Wednesday, House Democrats plan to impeach Trump for “inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” The move will make Trump the only president to be impeached twice.
...For now, few if any Democrats appear swayed by the Republican calls for “unity.” House Democrats say they have the votes to impeach Trump when the resolution comes to the floor Wednesday, and they’re actively working to bring at least some of their Republican colleagues on board.
And many of them are calling out their Republican peers forcefully.
...Representative Katherine Clark of Melrose, the fourth-ranking leader of the House Democratic caucus, told the Globe she has trouble finding the words to describe the “hypocrisy” of Republicans who have enabled Trump in dividing this country over the course of his presidency.
“To call for unity now — it is so galling and so amoral of them to not take any accountability for what they have done, and the destruction they have caused,” she said.
Original story here.