Democrats plan to start impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump on Monday, for inciting the invasion of the US Capitol.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested House lawmakers would move to impeach the president if Vice President Mike Pence and other cabinet officials declined to remove Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment — a move that Pence reportedly opposes.
It is however extremely unlikely the proceedings would clear Congress, but they could be a symbolic gesture.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had also spoken to the military about precautions to prevent Mr Trump ordering a war or nuclear strike.
House Democrats were holding a conference call Friday afternoon to discuss Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol and the proper response to Trump’s actions. Pelosi voiced her anger at Trump — “The President chose to be an insurrectionist,” she said, according to a source — but she’s hoping the threat of impeachment will up the pressure on Pence.
In a letter to fellow Democrats on Friday, Pelosi said she’s holding out hope that Pence will remove Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment. She also revealed that she had spoken Friday morning with Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss strategies “for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
“The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” Pelosi wrote.
With Biden set to take over the White House on Jan. 20, House leaders have little time remaining to realize their fall-back impeachment option. But Clyburn, the No. 3 Democrat in leadership, has repeatedly expressed his support for quickly impeaching Trump as Pence and Trump’s Cabinet show little appetite for invoking the 25th Amendment.
“Let’s impeach him. Let’s give him what he wants,” Clyburn said on a call with reporters on Friday.
And Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (Mass.), the fourth-ranking House Democrat, said the vote “will be as early as mid-next week.”
“Donald Trump needs to be removed from office. And we are going to proceed with every tool that we have to make sure that that happens to protect our democracy,” Clark told CNN Friday morning.
“If the reports are correct, and [Vice President] Mike Pence is not going to uphold his oath of office and remove the president and help protect our democracy, then we will move forward with impeachment to do just that,” she added.
Clark clarified in a tweet later Friday that Democrats are still weighing a timeline and “the quickest path to hold Trump accountable.”
It remains unclear how Republicans will react to another impeachment effort. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Friday that he would “definitely consider” supporting Trump’s impeachment, saying the president had “disregarded his oath of office.”
et other Republicans are already pushing back forcefully against that idea, and some are hoping that Biden will convince Pelosi and other congressional Democrats to steer clear of impeachment in Trump’s waning days in office. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for one, warned that impeachment would only tear the country apart further.
Yet that idea isn’t flying with liberal Democrats, who maintain that Congress would be derelict if it allows Trump to skate out of office without being held accountable for inciting Wednesday’s mob at the Capitol.
“Attacking our nation without recourse or responsibility isn’t “moving on,”” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted at Graham. “A Capitol Police officer just died. Why are you defending this?”
Pelosi is expected to speak with Biden by phone on Friday afternoon.