House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is open to censuring President Trump, a source familiar with his thinking told Fox News Tuesday.
Censure is a formal reprimand or statement of disapproval. The House has three formal modes of discipline: reprimand, censure and expulsion.
MCCONNELL FURIOUS WITH TRUMP, THINKS IMPEACHMENT WILL HELP RID GOP OF TRUMP
A separate source told Fox News on Monday that Trump told McCarthy, R-Calif., that he bears some of the blame for the Capitol riot last week during a conversation with the House GOP leader.
McCarthy’s openness to censure comes as House Democrats are set to consider an article of impeachment against Trump Wednesday morning on the House floor which claims Trump incited insurrection on Jan. 6.
Two House Republican sources told Fox News Tuesday that GOP leadership will not lobby members to vote against Trump’s impeachment, calling it a “conscience vote for members.”
“I don’t believe it will be whipped,” one senior Republican aide said.
But in a letter to GOP colleagues, McCarthy said he opposes impeaching the president, and said doing so would further divide the country in the wake of the attack on the Capitol last week.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Capitol, sources said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is furious with the president, and said he is “done with Trump.”
The source told Fox News that McConnell believes that impeachment will help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement.
It is unclear how McConnell would vote in an impeachment trial, should House Democrats vote to impeach Trump. It is not clear at this point whether McConnell would vote to convict.
Other sources told Fox News that there is “no love lost there.”
Part of McConnell’s anger, according to sources, is that the Senate majority was lost to the Democrats just last Tuesday in the Georgia Senate runoffs, but sources said that McConnell is extremely upset about the president’s actions Wednesday leading up to the riot at the Capitol.
The New York Times first reported that McConnell was pleased that House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump.
McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Last week, after the Capitol riot, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, resigned from her post, citing the president’s conduct.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., vowed to bring articles of impeachment to the House floor for consideration on Wednesday morning.
Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu, David Cicilline, Jamie Raskin and Jerrold Nadler this week introduced the articles of impeachment against Trump, charging the president with violating his oath of office. Democrats on Tuesday are also pushing a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
“In his conduct while President of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States, and to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States,” the article reads.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the article states. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government.”
The article adds that he “betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE BEARS SOME OF THE BLAME IN CAPITOL RIOT IN CONVERSATION WITH MCCARTHY: SOURCES
“Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States,” it said.
The calls for Trump’s removal come after the president spoke at a rally Wednesday, telling supporters that he would “never concede,” and repeated unsubstantiated claims that the election was “stolen” from him and that he won in a “landslide.”
Trump’s remarks came ahead of a joint session of Congress to certify the results of the presidential election. As members of the House and Senate raised objections to certain electoral votes, both chambers called for a recess and left their chambers as Trump supporters breached the Capitol building.
Washington Metro police said the security breach at the Capitol resulted in five deaths – including a Capitol Police officer.
Congress later returned and certified the Electoral College vote early Thursday in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino posted a statement from the president on Twitter early Thursday morning: “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted,” Trump said. “While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”