Daily US Times: Republican leaders only offered modest reproach when President Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides of a white supremacist rally. They stayed in line when the President was caught pressuring a foreign leader and later defended his handling of a deadly coronavirus pandemic.
But with a sudden force, the wall of Republican support that has enabled Donald Trump to weather a seemingly endless series of crises is beginning to erode.
Trump’s weakened standing among his own Republican Party will come into sharper focus on Wednesday when the House is expected to impeach Trump for the second time, and this time for inciting a riot at the US Capitol last week. A handful of Republican leaders have already said they will join the effort, a number that could grow as the vote nears.
The choice facing Republicans is not just about the immediate fate of Donald Trump, who has just seven days left in the White House. It’s about whether the party’s elected leaders are ready to move on from Mr Trump, who remains popular with the Republican supporters but is now toxic in much of Washington.
How they proceed could determine whether the party remains viable in upcoming elections or splinters in a way that could limit their relevance.
Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist who left the party because of Trump, said: “We’re at the moment now where we’re seeing a fracturing, a breaking, because of the unprecedented situation — the sedition, the violence, the death.”
The stunning nature of the deadly insurrection — and President Trump’s role in fueling it — has shaken many lawmakers across party lines. Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, gave rank-and-file conservatives the green light to abandon the President in a scathing statement Tuesday evening.
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