Ahead of Wednesday's voting in the House of Representatives to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of inciting his supporters to attack the US Capitol, cracks appeared in the Republican Party as three of its lawmakers announced their decision to vote in favour of the motion.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the third-most powerful Republican lawmaker in the House of Representatives, was the first GOP House leader to announce that she will vote to impeach Trump.
"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. I will vote to impeach the President," Cheney said.
"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not," she said.
Cheney was soon followed by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and John Katko.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection. He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative," Kinzinger said.
"I will vote in favour of impeachment," he said.
To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of democracy in the country, Katko said.
"For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President," he said.
The Democratic Party has 222 members in the 435-seat House of Representatives. The Republican Party has 211 seats, with two vacancies.
The impeachment legislation moved by the Democratic Party requires simple majority in the House. US media reported that the number of Republican lawmakers to vote in favour of impeaching Trump could be a few dozens.
Co-authored by Congressmen Jamie Raskin, David Cicilline and Ted Lieu, the article of impeachment -- co-sponsored by 211 House members -- was tabled on Monday.
The article of impeachment charges Trump with a count of "incitement of insurrection" for his actions on January 6, when he delivered a speech, inciting his supporters to lay siege to the Capitol.