Rep. John Katko becomes the first House Republican to back Trump impeachment in wake of deadly Capitol siege

John L. Dorman
John Katko
Rep. John Katko (R-New York). Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
  • Rep. John Katko of New York on Tuesday became the first House Republican to announce that he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the US Capitol riots, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

  • Katko said that he would support at least 218 House Democrats who have signed on to an impeachment resolution.

  • "To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy," Katko said in a statement. "For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president."

  • Katko, a former federal prosecutor, was first elected to the House in 2014.

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Rep. John Katko on Tuesday became the first House Republican to announce that he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the US Capitol riots, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Katko, who represents New York's Syracuse-anchored 24th Congressional district, said that he would support a move from at least 218 House Democrats who are backing an impeachment resolution. The impeachment vote is expected to be held on Wednesday.

In expressing his support for impeachment, Katko, a former federal prosecutor who was first elected to the House in 2014, held firm to his commitment to the Constitution.

"To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy," Katko said in a statement. "For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president."

He added: "It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection - both on social media ahead of January 6th, and in his speech that day. By deliberately promoting baseless theories suggesting the election was somehow stolen, the president created a combustible environment of misinformation, disenfranchisement, and division. When this manifested in violent acts on January 6th, he refused to promptly and forcefully call it off, putting countless lives in danger."

The Democratic-led resolution accuses the president of "inciting violence against the government of the United States" and argues that he "threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of government" by imploring a mob of pro-Trump protesters to challenge the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 presidential victory.

The resolution is likely to pass on Tuesday when it is brought to the House floor with a roll call vote. After the vote, Vice President Mike Pence will be given 24 hours to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office or the House will vote on impeaching the president.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, announced on Tuesday that she would also vote to impeach Trump, saying that "there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."

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