Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) became the fifth House Republican to announce she will vote to impeach President Trump on Wednesday, but the final number is expected to be higher. Zero Republicans voted to impeach Trump a year ago, but after Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday afternoon that he will do so this time, and especially after No. 3 House Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) followed suit, it became clear that Trump's second impeachment will have at least modest bipartisan support.
NEW: Rep. Herrera Beutler says she will vote to impeach President Trump, becoming the fifth Republican to commit to the effort following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump rioters. https://t.co/03nov3DHs6 pic.twitter.com/hU2Z1bwHAB
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 13, 2021
The House will consider and vote on one article of impeachment, accusing Trump of "inciting violence against the government of the United States" and "incitement of insurrection" for encouraging a violent mob to storm the U.S. Capitol last week during a joint session to finalize President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory. Five people died during the violence, including a Capitol Police officer.
"As many as a dozen Republicans are expected to support impeachment, according to lawmakers and aides of both parties," Politico reports. "But it's unclear how Cheney's public endorsement will change the calculation for Republicans who have been privately dismayed, or even outright enraged, at the president."
In her statement, Herrera Beutler said Trump "incited a riot aiming to halt the peaceful transfer of power," and his actions — and lack of meaningful action — "in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have," and "I will vote to impeach him." Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) have also said they will vote to impeach.
The top two House Republicans, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), do not support impeachment. But McCarthy, a Trump ally, "has been scrambling behind the scenes about what to do next" and "polling members about whether he should call on Trump to resign," Politico reports. GOP aides say he is open to censuring Trump, but Democrats argue that's too little, too late.