U.S. Democrats said on Sunday they would push to remove President Donald Trump from office in the final days of his government following his supporters’ violent attack on Capitol Hill, with some Republicans backing the move.
Trump could face a historic second indictment ahead of Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, at a time when the United States is struck by a growing pandemic, a declining economy and a searing division.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said there would be a resolution on Monday calling on the cabinet to dismiss Trump as unfit for office under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
If Vice President Mike Pence does not agree to invoke the amendment, “we will proceed to introduce impeachment legislation” in the House, Pelosi said.
“As the days go by, the horror of the continued assault on our democracy perpetrated by this president intensifies, as does the immediate need to act,” she added.
Trump has already been impeached once by the Democratic-controlled House in December 2019 for pressuring the President of Ukraine to dig up political filth on Biden.
He was acquitted by the Republican-majority Senate.
While time is running out, Democrats likely have the votes in the House to impeach Trump again and could attract increased Republican support for the move.
But they are unlikely to muster the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump in the 100-member Senate and remove him from office.
– “Incitement to violence” –
Authorities are seeking to arrest more Trump supporters who violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday after the president called a rally outside the White House, repeating false claims he lost the election to Biden in due to fraud.
Trump’s immediate resignation “is the best way forward,” Republican Senator Pat Toomey told CNN on Sunday, adding: “It would be a very good result.”
Toomey said that since the loss of the Nov. 3 vote, Trump had “fallen into a level of insanity and engaged in absolutely unthinkable and unforgivable activity.”
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the first Republican senator to call for Trump’s resignation, saying, “I want him out.” House Republicans, including Adam Kinzinger on Sunday, echoed the call.
The impeachment article is expected to charge Trump with inciting violence on Wednesday, which left five people dead.
Hundreds of police on leave Sunday lined Constitution Avenue in Washington and waved as a hearse rolled slowly while carrying the body of Brian Sicknick, the police officer who died in the attack on the Capitol.
Security for the Capitol was heightened, with a black metal fence seven feet high (about two meters) erected around the historic building. Extremists threatened further action in the coming days in Washington and state capitals.
– Trump it –
One of the reasons Democrats might seek a conviction, even after Trump leaves, is to prevent him from running for federal election again.
The president is reportedly furious at Pence’s rejection of Trump’s vocal pressure to somehow intervene in Congress’ confirmation on Wednesday of the election result.
Trump has remained largely silent in recent days – making few statements and holding no press conferences. Twitter, his favorite public platform, banned him for language that could incite violence.
He plans to visit Texas on Tuesday on one of his last trips as president to highlight his claims he built a border wall to prevent immigrants from Mexico from leaving the United States.
Senate rules mean the Upper House likely wouldn’t be able to open an impeachment trial until January 19, and Toomey said he was not sure it was constitutionally possible to impeach someone once out of office.
Some Democrats, for their part, have expressed concern that a Senate trial would eclipse and hamper Biden’s efforts to quickly establish his agenda, starting with the fight against the coronavirus and the need to support the economy.
“Maybe we’ll send the items out sometime after.
But West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat whose vote could be crucial in the equally divided new Senate, told CNN that an impeachment after Jan. 20 “makes no sense. ”
© 2021 AFP