Rep. Dan Newhouse became the sixth Republican to say that they will vote to impeach President Trump on Wednesday afternoon as debate raged in the House over an impeachment article accusing the president of inciting an insurrection.
The Washington Republican joins Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.; Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.; and John Katko, R-N.Y.
“Last week, hateful and un-American extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol, attacking both the structural embodiment of our Republic and the values we promote as citizens of this great nation. The violent mob, intent on disturbing the constitutional duties of Congress, resulted in the tragic loss of American lives, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer,” Newhouse said in a statement. “The mob was inflamed by the language and misinformation of the President of the United States.”
Newhouse added: “This is a pivotal and solemn moment in our country’s history. I wholeheartedly believe in our nation — and the system of government it was founded upon — may well be in jeopardy if we do not rise to this occasion. This is not a decision I take lightly.”
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Newhouse joined a group of Republicans ahead of the certification of the Electoral College votes that raised concerns over election integrity but refused to challenge states’ electoral slates.
More House Republicans are widely expected to come out in favor of impeachment, though likely not more than 20, according to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.
A group of GOP representatives, led by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., introduced a resolution to censure Trump on Tuesday. Censure is a formal condemnation but not as severe as impeachment.
Fitzpatrick was joined by Upton, as well as Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.; Young Kim, R-Calif.; Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.; John Curtis, R-Utah; and Peter Meijer, R-Mich.
Meijer has not explicitly come out in favor of impeaching Trump. But he did hint at it in a statement opposing Democrats’ 25th Amendment resolution on Tuesday.
Most Republicans, however, are expected to oppose impeachment. Many argue that impeachment so close to the end of Trump’s term, after Trump has conceded the presidential election, unnecessarily divides the country. Another group continues to defend the president, arguing that he did not commit an impeachable offense.
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The rapid impeachment proceedings come in the wake of weeks of false claims from Trump that he won the presidential election. Then, last Wednesday, he riled up a crowd in Washington, D.C., that then marched across the city to the Capitol and stormed the building as lawmakers and Vice President Pence were certifying the Electoral College results.
This resulted in lawmakers and the vice president being forced into hiding. Trump was widely condemned, including by many Republicans, for not doing enough to quell the riot that many said was his fault.
“On January 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. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic,” Cheney said in a statement. “Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. 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. None of this would have happened without the President.”
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Between the handful of Republicans who will back the impeachment and Democrats who are expected to be universally behind it, the impeachment article is expected to pass the House Wednesday.
It will then be up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on when to transmit the article to the Senate. A Senate impeachment trial, however, is almost certain not to begin until after Biden is inaugurated.
That does not necessarily mean that the trail would not be able to go on, but would take up the Senate’s docket in the opening days of the new presidency when the Senate otherwise would likely be busy confirming Biden’s national security nominees. An impeachment trial also could bar Trump from holding office in the future.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.