House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is also talking to GOP colleagues about whether he should ask Trump to resign, The New York Times reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes President Donald Trump
has committed multiple impeachable offenses and is "pleased" at the idea of Trump being impeached and removed from office, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote on impeaching Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection on the US Capitol on Wednesday. This would make Trump the first president in American history to be impeached twice.
McConnell thinks that Trump being impeached and then potentially convicted and ousted from office by the US Senate "will make it easier to purge him from the party," The Times said, citing people familiar with his thinking.
McConnell has been one of Trump's most steadfast allies who stood by the embattled president during his first Senate impeachment trial in January 2020. Now, however, the pair appear to be on the outs.
Trump and McConnell have reportedly not spoken since mid-December, when McConnell publicly acknowledged Trump's election loss in a December 15 speech on the Senate floor and congratulated President-elect Joe Biden
on his victory. McConnell reportedly plans to never speak to Trump again over his role in inciting violence at the Capitol as well as his lack of leadership in responding to the insurrection.
In addition to the Capitol siege, The Times said that McConnell blames Trump for Republicans losing two critical Senate seats in Georgia in the dual January 5 runoff elections, which not only cost Republicans control of the upper chamber but personally cost McConnell his job as Senate majority leader.
McConnell wants to fully review the article of impeachment the House plans to vote on before taking a public position on impeachment or censure, but he wants to do some damage to Trump's career prospects on his way out the door, according to The Times.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, for his part, is personally opposed to impeachment but is open to the idea of formally censuring Trump in Congress, the Times reported. He has talked to colleagues about asking Trump to resign from office before his term ends on January 20.
Unlike during Trump's first House impeachment trial in December 2019, McCarthy has not "whipped" his caucus against voting for impeachment. Up to a dozen House Republicans could vote to impeach Trump, The Times said. That list includes Republican Caucus Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, who has been vocally critical of Trump since the Capitol siege.
Also on Tuesday afternoon, GOP Rep. John Katko of New York became the first House Republican to publicly come out in favor of impeaching Trump. Katko is one of just a few Republicans representing a congressional district won by both Biden in 2020 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Katko was closely followed by Cheney, a congresswoman from Wyoming, who said that she too "will vote to impeach the president."
Last week, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois became the first Republican lawmaker to publicly state his support for Vice President Mike Pence invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump's presidential powers. He was followed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska urging Trump to resign from office.
"I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage," said Murkowski, the first GOP senator to make such a request of the president.