A growing number of Republicans are turning on Donald Trump as the US House is poised to impeach the president who has been labelled a “danger” to America.
The Democrats have charged Mr Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for urging his supporters to march on the Capitol which sparked riots and the breach of the capitol building.
As of 7am Australian time, at least six Republications had said they would vote in favour of impeachment in the House of Representatives where formal debate is under way, but there could be as many as 20.
The six include Dan Newhouse of Washington, John Katko of New York, Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
“I wholeheartedly believe our nation – and the system of government it was founded upon – may well be in jeopardy if we do not rise to this occasion,” said Republican Dan Newhouse as he said he would support impeachment.
“This is not a decision I take lightly.”
Tweet from @RepNewhouse
The charges of incitement are expected to be passed in the House, making Mr Trump the first president in US history to be impeached twice.
The Senate would then have to hold a trial which would require a two-thirds majority to convict Mr Trump but the Senate’s top Republican has rejected Democratic calls to reconvene the chamber for an immediate trial.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all but ensured Mr Trump will not be ousted before his term ends next week after telling the chamber’s top Democrat Chuck Schumer he was unwilling to call an emergency session.
Mr Trump has been described as a danger to the country as House representatives stand to debate the charge against the president who has only days left in office.
“We know that the president of the US incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country,” said House speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi heads to the House Floor for the impeachment debate. Photo: Getty
Democrat Jerry Nadler echoed Ms Pelosi’s words when he called for Mr Trump to be impeached.
“He must not remain in power a moment longer – not one moment longer; he remains a danger – he must go,” Mr Nadler said.
Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the third-highest ranked Republican in the chamber, indicated a day earlier she would vote for impeachment Trump saying: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Members of the National Guard rest in the Capitol Visitors Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo: Getty
As lawmakers debate the matter, about 15,000 National Guard troops and police were stationed around the Capitol to provide security.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat, said Democrats intended to send the impeachment charge, once approved, to the Senate “as soon as possible,” and Ms Pelosi named nine impeachment managers who would present the House’s case during a Senate trial.