The U.S. House of Representatives was ready on Tuesday to move forward with an effort to force Donald Trump out of office after inciting a mob that carried out a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol last week.
Members debated and were ready to vote on what effectively gives Mike Pence an ultimatum: to strip Trump of his power or allow him to become the first president in American history to be impeached a second time.
Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, several Republican members spoke in favor of impeachment, including Liz Cheney, the third House Republican, who said there had “never been a greater betrayal on the part of ‘a President of the United States’ as Trump’s encouragement for an insurgency at the seat of government.
“The President of the United States called his crowd, gathered the crowd and kindled the flame of this attack,” she said in a scathing statement. “All that followed was his work.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly told associates he believes Trump has committed uneasy offenses, though he has not expressed public support for the president’s impeachment.
In the days since a mob claimed the nation’s Capitol, which sent lawmakers scrambling under desks to get to safety, fear turned to fury as they learned more about the security failure that left them vulnerable – and the role of Trump and his allies in stoking chaos. Trump’s complete lack of remorse has heightened their anger.
Earlier Tuesday, the defeated president slammed Democrats for leading the effort to impeach him before his term ends next week, and took no responsibility for the violent uprising that has left five dead and threatened the life of congressmen, congressional staff, law. law enforcement, journalists and its own vice president.
Instead, he claimed his inflammatory comments to loyalists at a rally in Washington before the Capitol attack, where he urged them to march to the Capitol in a final attempt to overturn the results of an election. that he lost, were “very appropriate” and accused Democrats of further dividing the nation.
“The 25th Amendment poses no risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration,” Trump said in remarks from Alamo, Texas, after visiting the fence at the US-Mexico border.
Democrats will first vote on Tuesday night on a resolution calling on Mike Pence and cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to the constitution and wrest Trump from power. He further calls on Pence to immediately assume “the powers and duties of the office of interim president”.
Such an act, the resolution states: “To state what is obvious to a horrified nation: that the president is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.”
The 25th amendment allows the vice-president, with the support of the majority of the cabinet, to remove a president deemed “incapable of carrying out the powers and duties of his office”.
Democrats, who control the House, are confident they have the votes to pass the resolution. But it’s not just the Democrats.
A growing number of Republicans have called the president unfit for office and fear he will do more damage in his final days.
There is no indication that Pence intends to act. Trump and Pence met Monday night for the first time since the assault, in which some rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence” because he refused Trump’s public demands to block Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s election victory – a power he did not have.
The two have pledged to continue working together for the remainder of their tenure, according to a senior administration official.
Three cabinet officials resigned following the invasion of Capitol Hill, but none called for Trump’s impeachment.
The House will then move swiftly forward with impeachment, starting the debate over whether Trump committed “serious crimes” on Wednesday, just a week before Biden was sworn in.
Single impeachment article accuses Trump of “inciting insurgency” and directly quotes the president’s speech to supporters at the rally near the White House on January 6 before a mob stormed the seat of government American. “If you don’t fight like hell,” Trump pleaded, “you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Members of Congress gathered ahead of the vote on Tuesday for the first time since the attack, amid heightened security inside and outside the building. They began with a moment of silence for two Capitol Hill police officers who died after defending the building during the bloody siege.