President Trump plans political punishment for the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him for last week’s Capitol riot, according to a new report.
Trump summoned aides to brief him on the 10 following the Wednesday afternoon vote, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Trump “wanted to know who the lawmakers were and whether he had ever done anything for them” and “inquired who might run against them when they face re-election in two years,” the Journal reported.
The breakaway Republicans joined all Democrats to impeach Trump on a single count of allegedly inciting an insurrection that disrupted certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, was among the 10 and is resisting calls from some members of the House Freedom Caucus to resign. She and Trump long clashed on foreign policy and he called for her ouster during a pre-riot speech near the White House that formed the basis for his impeachment.
The other Republicans that voted to impeach Trump were Reps. Tom Rice of South Carolina, John Katko of New York, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Dan Newhouse of Washington, Fred Upton of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and David Valadao of California.
Trump is expected to remain a powerful figure among Republicans when he leaves office on Jan. 20 and could help topple the handful of incumbents. Many other Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, publicly faulted Trump’s actions, but called for a less-severe censure.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) urged a censure motion that would ban Trump from holding office again, but she did not support impeachment. Others quibbled with the wording. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said Trump “deserves universal condemnation for clearly what was in my opinion impeachable conduct,” but that he did not agree with the wording drafted by Democrats.
Much about Trump’s Senate impeachment trial is uncertain — including whether it will start this month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declined to say Friday at a press conference whether she will transmit the impeachment resolution to the Senate immediately, or wait potentially for months to avoid distracting from Biden’s early legislative agenda.
Trump has yet to select lawyers to represent him in the Senate trial. It’s also unclear if Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial because Trump will be the first ex-president to face an impeachment trial. There’s also a legal theory that he can’t face trial because he will no longer hold office and the purpose of impeachment is removal.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who later this month will cede his title to Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, said Wednesday that he has not decided how he will vote on impeachment. But with 17 Republican votes needed to convict, and Trump’s political retribution looming, it will remain difficult to achieve.