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“If you read my speech, and many people have done it...it’s been analyzed...people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said to reporters, taking no responsibility for his remarks during his Stop the Steal rally, which incited the insurrection.
His comments come ahead of the House of Representatives’ move to impeach the president for a second time on Wednesday, just a week before Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20. If the Democrat-majority House passes the vote, Trump will become the first U.S. president to be impeached twice.
However, he will only be removed from office if two-thirds of the Republican-majority Senate votes in favor of the measure. That would be mean numerous Republicans would have to be willing to vote against their party, and not many members have openly dissented within the GOP. The House will also vote first to ask Mike Pence to invoke constitutional powers to remove Trump from office, though it’s likely that the sitting vice president will oppose.
On Tuesday, Trump also called the Democrats’ move to impeach him “a really terrible thing.” He added, “To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence.”
Democrats filed their impeachment resolution on Monday, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” On Tuesday, the Capitol Police also disclosed to House Democrats that insurrectionists might have three more potentially gruesome plans to overthrow the government.
The New York Times noted that some Republican leaders in the House are choosing not to formally lobby against Trump’s impeachment, “making a tacit break with him as they scrambled to gauge support within their ranks for a vote on Wednesday to charge him with inciting violence against the country.” Minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) of California said he’s “personally” opposing impeachment but, as the Times puts it, “his decision not to officially lean on lawmakers to vote against the move constituted a subtle shift away from the president.” The paper notes Republicans have traditionally back Trump “on nearly every issue, demanding the same degree of absolute loyalty that the president himself has required.”
That article says “a dozen or so” Republicans in the House are reportedly considering voting for impeachment.
On Jan. 6, during Trump’s Stop the Steal rally, he told his loyalists, “We're going to walk down to the Capitol, and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”