On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, before the Democrat-majority U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States, for a second time, one lone Congressman challenged his colleagues on whether those who stormed Capitol Hill on January 6 did so at the behest of Trump.
He is Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida), who lost both of his legs while serving as an U.S. Army explosive ordnance disposal technician in Afghanistan in 2010.
As reported by the New York Post, Mast said: “I rise with a very simple question. On January 6, thousands broke the law by taking siege of our Capitol here with us inside. Has any one of those individuals who brought violence on this Capitol been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our president?”
After 30 seconds of awkward silence as a masked Mast stared ahead stony-faced, he concluded: “It appears I will receive no answer.”
Despite that, the House voted to impeach the president.
Here are the 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment:
- Elizabeth “Liz” Cheney (Wyoming), chair of the House Republican Conference, the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership. The elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz is facing calls to step down from GOP leadership because of her support to impeach President Trump.
- Jamie Herrera Beutler (Washington).
- Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio).
- John Katko (New York).
- Adam Kinzinger (Illinois).
- Peter Meijer (Michigan).
- Dan Newhouse (Washington).
- Tom Rice (South Carolina).
- Fred Upton (Michigan).
- David Valadao (California).
The impeachment process now moves to the U.S. Senate, where, as a result of the January 5 run-off elections in Georgia where Democrats won two Senate seats, Republicans have lost their majority. Republicans now number 50, Democrats 48, and two Independents (Bernie Sanders and Angus King of Maine), who caucus with Democrats. When you add incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, whose vote as President of the Senate will mean Democrats will be an effective 51:50 majority in the Senate on/after January 20.
At least 17 Republicans in the Senate need to support impeachment to forcefully remove President Trump from the White House before his term ends in four days, on January 20.
According to The Independent, at least four Republican senators have indicated they were either undecided or considering supporting impeachment:
- Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Senate majority leader. Quoting sources “familiar with his thinking”, The New York Times reported that McConnell was happy with the push to impeach the president and that it would help purge the GOP of Trump’s legacy. Publicly, however, McConnell says he hasn’t made a decision one way or the other: “While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote, and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
- Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
- Ben Sasse (Nebraska)
- Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania).