House Democrats introduced a single article of impeachment charging President Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for his role encouraging the violent mob that stormed the Capitol last week, resulting in five deaths. Hours after its release the article reportedly has the support of more than 218 members of Congress, the majority required. This means that Trump is on a fast-track to becoming the first American president to ever be impeached twice.
As a prelude to impeachment, Democrats also introduced on Monday a separate resolution that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, which would bring together the cabinet to vote on whether Trump is still able to execute the duties of his office. However, Republicans blocked Democrats’ attempt to pass it by unanimous consent, meaning the resolution will likely come to a floor vote on Tuesday. But if Pence does not act “within 24 hours,” Pelosi said the House will proceed with impeachment.
.@LeaderHoyer asks for Unanimous Consent on H.R. 21 calling on @VP Pence to convene and mobilize the cabinet to invoke Section 4 of the 25th amendment. @RepAlexMooney objects. pic.twitter.com/IoEoOfuUxj
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 11, 2021
In the impeachment article, Democrats accuse Trump of “reiterat[ing] false claims that ‘we won this election, and we won it by a landslide’” at the rally that turned violent. It also says that the president “willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.’ ” In addition to impeachment, Democrats say that Trump should also be barred from holding federal office ever again.
Some Democrats have expressed concern that Trump’s impeachment will draw focus away from President Joe Biden’s first days in office, as a trial would likely continue beyond Trump’s term. But as more information comes out about the attack on the Capitol, it is becoming increasingly clear that it was, as Pelosi said on 60 Minutes, a “well-planned, organized group with leadership and guidance and direction. And the direction was to go get people.”
And Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said Congress should try to move quickly, as the Senate did in confirming Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“If we impeach him this week… it should immediately be transmitted to the Senate and we should try the case as soon as possible,” Schiff said on CBS This Morning. “Mitch McConnell has demonstrated when it comes to jamming Supreme Court justices through the Congress, he can move with great alacrity when he wants to.”
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), one of the authors of the impeachment article, also told CNN he believes that some Republicans may vote for impeachment, unlike in 2019. “I expect that we’ll have Republican support,” Cicilline said. “I think it’s urgent that the president be removed immediately.”
But to reach a conviction in the Senate, Democrats will need a two-thirds majority, which will require 16 Republican senators to vote to convict.