BREAKING NEWS: Democrats introduce impeachment article accusing Donald Trump of incitement to insurrection and will force vote tomorrow demanding Mike Pence use the 25th Amendment
- House met Monday after Wednesday’s riot by Trump supporters in the Capitol
- New Sergeant at Arms sworn in to protect and defend the Constitution
- Leaders sought unanimous consent on 25h Amendment resolution
- Pelosi said she would give Pence 24 hours to act
- An impeachment vote is likely on Wednesday
- Sen. Mitch McConnell told colleagues a trial might not start until Jan 19th
- Democrats introduced single impeachment article
- It accuses Trump of ‘incitement of insurrection’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders have set up fast-moving floor votes that that will force House Republicans to cast votes both on President Trump’s fitness for office and on whether to remove him during his final days in power.
On Monday morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) sought to call up a resolution that would instruct Pence to convene cabinet members to declare Trump ‘incapable of executing the duties of his office.’
But he failed to get ‘unanimous consent’ when a House Republican objected. Pelosi says she will respond by bringing the 25th amendment resolution to the floor Tuesday.
Democrats also introduced their impeachment resolution, first floated Friday, accusing Trump of ‘incitement of insurrection.’ Top Democrats say it has enough support to pass.
The latest text of the resolution cites the post-Civil War 14th amendment, noting it ‘prohibits any person who has ‘‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’’ the United States from ‘‘hold[ing] any office . . . under the United States’’.
In swift parliamentary action Monday, West Virginia Republican Rep. Alex Mooney immediately objected to the request to bring up the resolution. He posted a statement on Twitter explaining his reasons, which were entirely procedural and expressed opposition to bringing it up ‘without any debate on the floor,’ although he also said it could ‘imperil our Republic.’
Pelosi’s plan was to first try to bring up the resolution formally requesting Vice President Mike Pence invoke the 25th Amendment through the request, then follow up by bringing it before the full House.
The move puts pressure on Pence – who Trump publicly sought to strong-arm at the rally that proceeded the Capitol riots. Crowd members at the Capitol also screamed out calls to ‘hang’ Pence.
House Nancy Pelosi has arranged for motions and votes that will put House Republicans on record
The resolution would not carry the force of law, but it would be the first test for House Republicans, many of whom served with Pence, since a vote hours after the riot split the conference on whether to count votes where Trump has claimed fraud. (A majority of Republicans voted not to count the ballots just hours after many of them had been hiding in undisclosed locations while the mob rampaged the Capitol building).
The 25th Amendment vote also separates question of Trump’s fitness from some practical considerations about impeachment, since the move would take effect immediately.
The backdrop for Monday’s move was a House chamber still scarred by the violence of last week. The violent clash that resulted in broken windows and the shooting of a Trump supporter took place just feet away, outside the Speaker’s lobby.
The weekend brought fresh video footage of vicious attacks on Capitol Police officers, new clips that revealed just how close the Senate chamber was to being overrun while in session, arrests of more alleged perpetrators across the country, and the tragic suicide of a Capitol Police officer who was there for the siege.
Even if the House votes Wednesday to impeach, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote colleagues a trial would not likely begin until January 19th – missing the opportunity to remove Trump from office, and also complicating the start of President-elect Joe Biden’s tenure.
Unlike through impeachment, if Pence and a majority of the cabinet officers were to vote that Trump was unfit for office, Pence would immediately become acting president for a period of days that would run out Trump’s term.
The House votes will test Republican support for Donald Trump following a Capitol riot carried out by his supporters that resulted in five deaths
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who has been leading Trump’s efforts to overturn election results, is set to get a Medal of Freedom from the president
The House Rules Committee is expected to meet Monday on setting the terms of debate for the impeachment vote that would likely come Wednesday.
The impeachment vote itself would also split Republicans. More than 200 Democrats have already gotten behind the effort.
Since Wednesday’s riots, a few prominent Republicans have called for Trump to resign or be subject to impeachment. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Sunday that Trump ‘committed impeachable offenses.’
Pelosi, having conferenced with fellow Democrats by phone, and whose office was invaded by Trump supporters who damaged her office and stole property, is demanding swift action.
‘We will act with urgency, because this president represents an imminent threat to both,’ she wrote Sunday. ‘The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this president is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.’
The impeachment vote will once again put GOP leaders on record as well. Both Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise voted not to seat electors certified in states that Joe Biden won.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) backed Trump’s claims to overturn election results after the president’s supporters overran the Capitol
Republican Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory group, objects to the electoral votes for the State of Michigan
Pelosi wrote to her Democrat colleagues on Sunday night to explain the next steps
But McCarthy was reportedly on a call ‘screaming’ at Trump trying to get him to publicly demand his supporters leave the Capitol at a time when lawmakers and Pence were in physical danger.
Retired Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake told CNN Monday those in party leadership positions in Congress ‘who went along with the president’s falsehoods … ought to face consequences in terms of their own reelection and obviously immediately in terms of leadership positions that they might hold.
‘So i hope that the party has a reckoning here,’ he said.
The effect of the procedural moves, even if they don’t result in Trump’s removal from office, will be to put House Republicans on record.
It could also flush out any House Republicans who have decided to break with Trump after opposing the first Democratic impeachment effort.
Meanwhile, some pro-Trump House Republicans are already are already telegraphing they would seek to use impeachment against Joe Biden.
‘We never think about the consequences. It’s going to be like: Game on. Let’s impeach [Biden] 12 times in a week,’ one Democrat opposed to impeachment told Politico.
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