The wall of Republican support that has enabled President Donald Trump to weather a seemingly endless series of crises is beginning to erode.
Trump’s weakened standing among his own party will come into sharper focus on Wednesday when the House is expected to impeach the president for inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Five Republican House members have already said they’ll join the effort — including Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, the third-highest ranking Republican in the chamber. That number could grow as the vote nears.
There are also reports that in the likely event that Trump is impeached again, he won't have the same support among Republican senators during the ensuing trial.
The New York Times reports that Sen. Mitch McConnell — the current but outgoing Senate Majority Leader — is "pleased" with the impeachment efforts and that McConnell believes the charges will make it easier for Republicans to "purge" him from the party.
The choice facing Republicans isn’t just about the immediate fate of Trump but whether the party’s elected leaders are ready to move on. While Trump remains popular within the Republican Party, the Associated Press reports that Trump is considered "toxic" in Washington.
Privately, McConnell has told those close to him that he blames Trump for Republicans losing control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and believes now is the moment for the party to move on without Trump, according to the Times.