Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

GOP leaders reportedly want to 'bury' Trump but avoid 'making him Jesus'

"Top Republicans want to bury President Trump, for good," Axios reported Wednesday morning, hours before the House impeaches Trump for a second time. "But they are divided whether to do it with one quick kill via impeachment, or let him slowly fade away."

A dozen or more House Republicans, including No. 3 caucus leader Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), say they will vote to impeach, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly believes Trump's actions surrounding last week's Capitol siege are impeachable offenses. McConnell is more likely to vote to convict Trump than not, sources told Axios.

"House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy would love a Trumpless world, but doesn't want to knife him with fingerprints," Axios reports. McCarthy and his "fade-away caucus sees a danger that the impeachment-conviction route is, as a prominent conservative put it, 'making him Jesus. ... Truly stupid.'"

Trump allies warn that any Republican who votes to impeach or convict Trump will never win election again, though a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday morning found that 40 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents now say they would vote for Trump if he ran in the 2024 GOP primary, down from 53 percent in November. "President Trump's role in fomenting last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is negatively impacting his future political prospects — even among his base," said Morning Consult's Kyle Dropp.

Honestly, "it's hard to know where other Senate Republicans are on this," MSNBC host Chris Hayes writes in Politico's Playbook. But if Mitch McConnell is ready to convict, "it seems like we may have — very belatedly — arrived at the moment that McConnell and the Trump-era GOP have desperately tried to avoid: a Goldwater to Nixon moment in which the party decisively breaks with the criminal, dangerous president. Of course, anyone taking that side of the bet for the last four years would be dead broke by now, so I suppose I'll believe it when I see it."