House Democrats plan to open a second round of impeachment proceedings against President Trump on Monday, calling for his removal from office and accusing him of “incitement of insurrection” that saw a mob breaching the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
According to Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), Democratic House leaders are looking to vote on articles of impeachment as early as Monday if Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. She noted that Democrats were working to find “the quickest path to hold Trump accountable,” but emphasized that they faced GOP defenders “obstruction and attempts to delay us.”
The draft articles crafted by three Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee — Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, and Jamie Raskin of Maryland and began circulating among members of Congress earlier on Friday. More than 150 House Democrats have signed on to articles of impeachment that focuses on the breach of the Capitol.
“This conduct is so grave and this president presents such a clear and present danger to our democracy, I don’t think you can simply say let’s just wait it out,” Cicilline said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
The article accuses Trump of “incitement of insurrection” and “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” for his remarks made earlier on Wednesday during a “Save America” rally that “encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”
“In all of this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” the legislation reads.
The article also cites Trump’s hour-long phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he asked the state election official to “find” enough votes to overturn that state’s election and “threatened Mr. Raffensperger if he failed to do so.”
It notably includes a clause disqualifying Trump “to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a lengthy 3 and a half conference call with her caucus on how to proceed with just 12 days to go before Trump will leave office.
“It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign,” Pelosi said in a statement. “But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment. Accordingly, the House will preserve every option — including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment.”
In her “Dear Colleague” letter, Pelosi said Republicans in Congress “need to follow” the example Republicans did fifty years ago by prevailing in telling President Nixon to resign and avoid the ignominy of an impeachment.
“Nearly fifty years ago, after years of enabling their rogue President, Republicans in Congress finally told President Nixon that it was time to go,” Pelosi said in the letter. “Today, following the President’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office – immediately. If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.”
She also noted that she spoke with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about “available precautions” in preventing Trump from initiating military action abroad or using his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons in the last days of his term.
On Thursday, Pelosi demanded Pence to immediately invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to forcefully removal Trump for what she called ‘inciting sedition” from power by his own Cabinet. She threatened to “move forward with impeachment” if Pence refuses to act and if Trump doesn’t leave office on his own accord.
“I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the Vice President to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th amendment,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference. “If the Vice President and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment. That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus and the American people by the way.”
Pence advisors told Business Insiders after the Speakers demand saying that the Vice President would never even consider participating in a removal of Trump via the 25th Amendment, saying Pelosi’s calls are “not happening.”
The House is currently on recess until after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. However, Democratic lawmakers are pushing to reconvene the House as soon as next week to vote on the measure and send articles of impeachment to the Senate in an unprecedented move during the final 13 days of Trump’s presidency.
In a memo to fellow senators Friday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that the earliest the Senate could take up any House-passed articles of impeachment would most likely be right after Trump’s term ends, saying that the Senate cannot consider the articles while in recess.
White House spokesman Judd Deere denounced Democrats’ effort to push a second wave of impeachment, saying in a statement: “As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one nation. A politically motivated impeachment against a president, who has done a great job, with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”