A group of Republicans in the U.S. House who voted to certify Electoral College results for President-elect Joe Biden sent him a letter Saturday, formally requesting that he intervene on their behalf to stop House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from trying to impeach President Donald Trump again.
The representatives are led by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), with the group arguing that another impeachment process would not help unify the country.
Democrats have already drafted articles of impeachment, which are expected to be introduced to the House on Monday.
Pelosi has demanded that Trump be removed from office by his Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment, and if not, she will go forward with the impeachment effort.
Along with Buck, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) were among the other signatories.
“In the spirit of healing and fidelity to our Constitution, we ask that you formally request that Speaker Nancy Pelosi discontinue her efforts to impeach President Donald J. Trump a second time,” the letter reportedly said.
News of the letter quickly sparked backlash on social media, with many saying backing off an impeachment would give a sense of legitimacy to the insurrectionists.
If the House votes to impeach, Trump would be the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
Should the House take up the articles of impeachment as expected, it seems likely Trump would be impeached by the Democratic-controlled chamber, just as he was in February of 2020. The question then becomes whether there will be enough votes in the Senate to remove him from office, which is a murkier prospect. Only one Republican—Sen. Mitt Romney—cast a “guilty” vote during the Senate trial to remove Trump from office after the earlier impeachment, but it seems likely there would be much more Republican support now. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Friday that he would “definitely consider” articles of impeachment against Trump if they pass the House, while Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Saturday he thinks Trump “committed impeachable offenses.” Sen. Lisa Murkowski said (R-Alaska) said of Trump in an interview published Friday—“I want him out.” A removal from office requires a “guilty” vote of two-thirds of the Senate, which is still under Republican control.
What To Watch For
Should the impeachment process formally begin on Monday, it would come while Trump only has nine days left in office, with the short time frame he already has left in power being a sticking point for some Republicans.
180. That’s how many co-sponsors Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said he has in the House for articles of impeachment, but he told Forbes that as of Saturday, no Republicans had signed on.