Republicans are cowering before Trump's terrorist mob.
As the House of Representatives speeds toward impeaching Donald Trump for the second time, congressional Republicans have concocted a new excuse for not supporting the effort, claiming that it will only incite more violence from the pro-Trump mob.
Trump himself seemed to make that same argument on Tuesday in his first public appearance since the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, when hordes of his supporters broke into the building as lawmakers held a joint session of Congress to certify the results of voting in the Electoral College.
As he left the White House to travel to Texas for an event touting his border wall, Trump said, "This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and they're doing it, and it's really a terrible thing that they're doing." He told reporters, "For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer 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."
Republican members of Congress who echo Trump's claim that impeachment is the thing that's endangering the country by enraging the pro-Trump mob seem to be suggesting that their actions can be swayed by terroristic threats.
"Will seeking political retribution calm the violence and division in our nation?" Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska tweeted on Monday. "We can keep canceling one another, hurting one another, hating one another, or we can stop. The flag is still flying over the Capitol."
Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas explicitly said that another round of impeachment could cause more pro-Trump violence.
"Those calling for impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment in response to President Trump's rhetoric this week are themselves engaging in intemperate and inflammatory language and calling for action that is equally irresponsible and could well incite further violence," Brady tweeted.
In an appearance Saturday on Fox News, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "trying to drive a wedge further ... trying to make a difficult situation more difficult.
"Right now we need to turn the rhetoric down, not try to turn the volume up. It's best when there's a fire to not pour gasoline on it, but to pour water on it," Lankford said.
And Rep. Chip Roy of Texas tweeted, "To impeach @POTUS at this point, with fewer than two weeks remaining in his term, would be nothing more than a reckless political statement. By its design, it will only further sow division and heighten tensions among the American people."
Right-wing media personalities have also been equating holding Trump accountable for inciting violent insurrection with incitement itself.
"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday morning said, "We see what's happening around this country, how 50 statehouses are being threatened on Inauguration Day. This is the last thing you want to do."
As Republicans cower before their dangerous right-wing supporters, one GOP lawmaker said some Republicans voted against certifying election results out of fear Trump supporters would commit violence against them and their families if they didn't.
Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer told Reason magazine that "one of the saddest things is I had colleagues who, when it came time to recognize reality and vote to certify Arizona and Pennsylvania in the Electoral College, they knew in their heart of hearts that they should've voted to certify, but some had legitimate concerns about the safety of their families. They felt that that vote would put their families in danger."
Democrats are having none of the GOPs excuses and claims.
"Republicans lied about the election to the American people. Their lies led to a violent attack on America. The path to unity is through the truth. Honor your oath of office and defend our democracy. Impeach this dangerous President," Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark tweeted.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.