WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives have introduced a single charge of impeachment — “incitement of insurrection” — against President Donald Trump over the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The Democratic-controlled House is expected to take up the matter Wednesday. Passage of the resolution introduced Monday would make Trump, a Republican, the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a call Monday that members should plan to return to Washington on Tuesday evening to consider a House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to start the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment process of removing Trump from office. That resolution is expected to pass, but Pence is unlikely to act.
House Republicans blocked a similar Democratic request Monday to bring up a resolution urging Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office. House Democrats sought agreement to immediately bring up the resolution for debate, but Republicans stopped it on a voice vote.
Hoyer said the House will then consider impeachment on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a Republican in the House said he will join other lawmakers on Tuesday to introduce a resolution censuring President Trump.
The four-page impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden; his pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes; and his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the building on Wednesday.
NewsNation has obtained a copy of the resolution. Read it below:
A violent mob of Trump supporters overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were finalizing Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the legislation said.
The bill from Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of New York, said Trump threatened “the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power” and “betrayed” trust.
“He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” they wrote.
Also on Monday, before the resolution calling on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, the House Sergeant at Arms formally offered his resignation following the riots, which was accepted.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that the House will proceed with legislation to impeach Trump.
In a statement Monday, Pelosi denounced House Republicans’ action to block the 25th Amendment resolution, saying their complicity “endangers America, erodes our Democracy, and it must end.”
“As our next step, we will move forward with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor,” Pelosi added. “The President’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action.”
A Republican senator, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, joined Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “resign and go away as soon as possible.”
Lawmakers have warned of the damage the president could still do before Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20. Trump was increasingly isolated after a mob rioted in the Capitol in support of his false claims of election fraud. Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, repeatedly dismissed cases and Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, said there was no sign of any widespread fraud.
“We will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat,” Pelosi said in a letter late Sunday to colleagues emphasizing the need for quick action.
“The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
Pence has given no indication he would act on the 25th Amendment. If he does not, the House would move toward impeachment.
Toomey said he doubted impeachment could be done before Biden is inaugurated, even though a growing number of lawmakers say that step is necessary to ensure Trump can never hold elected office again.
“I think the president has disqualified himself from ever, certainly, serving in office again,” Toomey said. “I don’t think he is electable in any way.”
Murkowski, long exasperated with the president, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply “needs to get out.” A third, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., did not go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be “very careful” in his final days in office.
On impeachment, House Democrats would likely delay for 100 days sending articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, to allow Biden to focus on other priorities.
President-elect Biden said Monday he has spoken to Senate leaders about splitting time between approving his key Cabinet nominations and proceeding with a possible impeachment trial against President Trump.
The president-elect said he’d spoken to Senate leaders about splitting the chamber’s time and “go a half day on dealing with impeachment, a half day on getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said that instead of coming together, Democrats want to “talk about ridiculous things like ‘Let’s impeach a president’” with just days left in office.
Still, some Republicans might be supportive.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said he would take a look at any articles that the House sent over. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a frequent Trump critic, said he would “vote the right way” if the matter were put in front of him.
The Democratic effort to stamp Trump’s presidential record — for the second time — with the indelible mark of impeachment advanced rapidly after the riot.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I, a leader of the House effort to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said Monday that his group has 210 co-sponsors.
Potentially complicating Pelosi’s decision about impeachment was what it meant for Biden and the beginning of his presidency. While reiterating that he had long viewed Trump as unfit for office, Biden on Friday sidestepped a question about impeachment, saying what Congress did “is for them to decide.”