By Ted Hewson and Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Congressional Republicans are facing a week after the second impeachment of Donald Trump as the former president is contesting the election with a Tuesday deadline to respond to the allegations and his party calls Liz Cheney over his Has decided to step down as one of the House of Representatives. Leader to support impeachment.
House Republican Adam Kinzinger, who also voted for impeachment, on Sunday announced a new political action committee called the country’s first PAC, aimed at challenging Trump’s continued grip on the party. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Kinzinger said his party had “lost its moral authority in too many areas” and that “darkness and division” were pedaled under Trump.
Lawmakers on Republican Right Flank aim to remove former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Cheney as the party’s No. 3 in the House. House Republicans are expected to address the issue when they meet as a group.
The Democratic-led House voted to impeach Trump on January 13, with 10 Republicans voting in favor, accusing him of instigating a rebellion for his inflammatory speech to supporters before January 6. The Trump supporter crowd interrupted formal congressional certification of Biden’s electoral victory, killing five people.
Trump is due to file an answer on the House’s charges by Tuesday. It is not clear who will represent him in the impeachment trial. Beginning on February 9, he was methodically involved with two of his key defense lawyers, Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbieri, as well as three other attorneys associated with the team, familiar with sources said on the matter Saturday.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, Senator Rob Portman urged his fellow Republicans in the House not to punish Cheney.
“I think she’s very smart, and she plays an important role in our party, especially on foreign affairs. So I hope they don’t go down that road,” Portman said.
During the impeachment debate, Cheney said of Trump’s actions: “There has never been a greater betrayal than the President of the United States and his oath to the Constitution” – remarks made by Democrats.
Republican leaders may also have to decide whether to take any action for the first time about Republican Congressional President Marjorie Taylor Green, who had expressed support for executing Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, before being elected. Green first gained national attention for his interest in the QAnon conspiracy theory that claims high-profile Democrats are part of a child pedophile ring.
Regarding Greene, Portman said Republican leaders should “ask to stand up and it’s completely unacceptable what he said.” Regarding the possibility of Green losing his membership on the House committees, Portman said “I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened.”
There are strong indications that the Senate would include too few Republican Democrats to gain the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump. Five of the 50 Republican senators supported a resolution last Tuesday declaring the test unconstitutional because Trump is now a private citizen who has office on January 20.
“He sets an example. And I think all former presidents, those who are alive and those who are not, can be affected in a negative way,” Portman said.
While Portman said Trump’s behavior was “unforgivable”, he said, “Well, it can be unforgivable, and yet one should not be subject to a conviction after leaving the office of president.”
Asked whether the trial should be postponed due to uncertainty surrounding Trump’s legal team, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy told the “Fox News Sunday” program that it was “a deserted area for several reasons.”
“I always thought the president had insufficient time to come up with a rebuttal. That probably makes it even more inadequate,” Cassidy said.
(Reporting by Ted Hewson and Sarah Ann Lynch; Additional reporting by Susan Hevey, David Morgan and Steve Holland; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Mary Milliken and Daniel Wallis)
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