House Democrats are barreling toward impeaching President Donald Trump for the second time over his role in inciting last week’s riots at the US Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats on Sunday evening that the House would proceed with bringing an impeachment resolution to the floor this week unless Vice President Mike Pence moves to invoke the 25th Amendment with a majority of the Cabinet to remove Trump from power.
Pelosi’s letter was the first time she explicitly said that the House would take up impeachment on the floor this week, though it was clear that House Democrats have rapidly coalesced around an impeachment resolution in the days following the riots at the Capitol where five people died, including a US Capitol Police officer.
Pelosi said that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer would seek to take up a resolution from Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland on Monday urging Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, and if they were blocked the House would consider the measure on Tuesday.
Democrats are calling on Pence to respond within 24 hours, she said. If that does not happen, Democrats will bring their impeachment resolution to the floor.
Timing of an impeachment vote is still fluid, though the expectation is it would happen on Wednesday.
Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Raskin and Ted Lieu of California will introduce the impeachment resolution during Monday’s pro-forma House session, which includes one article charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection.”
Cicilline tweeted Sunday evening that the resolution now has more than 200 co-sponsors, nearly all of the Democratic caucus. The resolution would likely go to the House Rules Committee before it’s brought to the floor.
The level of unity in the Democratic caucus is being driven by the visceral reaction to what happened on January 6, when lawmakers had to be evacuated from the House and Senate chambers with rioters banging on the doors outside as the insurrectionists tried to stop the counting of votes to affirm President-elect Joe Biden would become President on January 20.
Pelosi said in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that she liked the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment “because it gets rid of him,” but explained, “one of the motivations people have for advocating for impeachment” is to prevent Trump from holding office again.
“There’s strong support in the Congress for impeaching the President a second time,” she said.
House Democrats are holding a caucus-wide call on Monday to discuss their path forward.
House Republicans have urged Democrats not to move forward with impeachment, arguing that such a move would be divisive in the face of Biden’s calls for unity. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is also holding a conference call with the GOP conference Monday, according to a source familiar.
Still, there’s been little to slow momentum toward impeachment since Wednesday. Two Senate Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, have called on Trump to resign in the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol.
One of the biggest issues surrounding House Democrats’ impeachment push is what it means for the opening days of the Biden administration, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he won’t call the Senate back from recess for a trial before it’s slated to reconvene on January 19, which would make the start of the trial January 20 — Biden’s inauguration.
A Senate impeachment trial would grind the chamber to a halt, unable to confirm nominees or enact legislation in the opening days of Biden’s presidency.
One option being considered is waiting until later to send the articles to the Senate: House Democratic Whip James Clyburn said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday the House might wait until after Biden’s first 100 days in office before sending the impeachment articles to the Senate to begin the trial.
House Democrats ready impeachment vote this week The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ CNN.