A group of former administration officials and anti-Trump Republicans said they would make a $50 million commitment to support the re-election of Republican lawmakers who join Democrats in supporting impeachment of the president.
The financial commitment by the group, the Republican Accountability Project, is designed to incentivize Republicans who have appeared open to voting in favor of the new article of impeachment that is expected to be considered by the House on Wednesday.
“Donald Trump has made it clear he is going to try and politically punish anyone who stands against him,” said Sarah Longwell, a prominent Never Trump Republican who is behind the new group. “His ability to to do that is diminishing by the minute, but we want to provide a counterweight to say there is real money to back people who do the right thing.”
No House Republicans supported the president’s first impeachment in 2019. But as many as a dozen Republicans were said to be considering joining Democrats this time around, including Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican.
If Ms. Cheney “continues to push for accountability,” Ms. Longwell, said, “she’s exactly the kind of person we would want to defend.”
The Republican Accountability Project will be headed up by two former Trump administration officials: Olivia Troye, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence, who served on the coronavirus task force, and Elizabeth Neumann, who served as a deputy chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security. During the election, both Ms. Troye and Ms. Neumann became outspoken critics of the administration. The group will operate under the umbrella organization of Defending Democracy Together, an advocacy group aimed at fighting Trumpism within the Republican Party.
Ms. Longwell said the group would even consider backing Mr. Pence in his future political endeavors if he “endorses the idea that the president should resign, be subject to the 25th Amendment, or support impeachment.”
The new group also planned to release a letter signed by over 100 Republicans and former national security officials calling for Mr. Trump’s removal from office. The list included Michael Hayden, a retired Air Force general who directed both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency under President George W. Bush; and two former acting attorneys general: Peter D. Keisler and Stuart M. Gerson.