WASHINGTON – A House resolution calling on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove President Donald Trump from office was blocked Monday by Republicans.
House Democrats are pushing Pence and the Cabinet to oust Trump, claiming he is unfit for office after encouraging a protest march that turned into a mob that trashed the U.S. Capitol during ‘a murderous siege.
Republicans refused to allow a vote on the Pence measure on Monday, although a vote could still take place as early as Tuesday.
Pence has given no indication that he is ready to continue down such a path, which would involve invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, including a Cabinet majority vote to oust Trump before he leaves his duties on January 20. elected Joe Biden will be sworn in on that date.
Within days of Trump’s presidency, the House is also preparing to impeach Trump this week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi first tries to pressure Republicans to tell Trump it’s time to leave.
Trump would face a single charge – “incitement to insurgency” – for the riot on the U.S. Capitol, according to a draft article obtained by The Associated Press.
Lawmakers were expected to introduce the bill on Monday, with a midweek vote.
The four-page impeachment bill draws on Trump’s own misrepresentation about his electoral defeat to 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 storming the building on Wednesday.
A violent crowd of Trump supporters took control of the police, crossed security lines and windows and ransacked the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to disperse as they finalized Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College.
“President Trump has seriously endangered the security of the United States and its government institutions,” the legislation says.
Representatives’ Bill 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 he is allowed to remain in power,” they wrote.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca., Said Monday on CBS, “We must move forward with urgency. ”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would pass legislation to impeach Trump as she pushes the Vice President and Cabinet to invoke constitutional authority to force him out, warning Trump is a threat for democracy after the murderous assault on the Capitol.
A Republican Senator, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, joined Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska this weekend in calling on Trump to “step down and leave as soon as possible.”
Lawmakers have warned of the damage the president could still do before Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Trump, locked up in the White House, was increasingly isolated after a mob riot on Capitol Hill to support his false allegations of voter fraud. Judges across the country, including some appointed by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases and Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, has said there is no sign of widespread fraud.
“We will act urgently because this president poses an imminent threat,” Pelosi said in a letter Sunday evening to colleagues stressing the need for swift action.
“The horror of the continued assault on our democracy by this president is heightened, as is the immediate need to act. ”
In an interview on “60 Minutes” broadcast on Sunday, Pelosi invoked the Watergate era when Republicans in the Senate told President Richard Nixon, “It’s over.”
“This is what has to happen now,” she said.
Pence gave no indication he would act on the 25th Amendment. If he doesn’t, the House is headed for impeachment.
Toomey said he doubts the impeachment can be made before Biden’s inauguration, even though a growing number of lawmakers believe this step is necessary so that Trump can never hold office again.
“I think the president disqualified himself from never, certainly, serving again,” Toomey said. “I don’t think he’s eligible in any way. ”
Murkowski, long exasperated with the president, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump “just had to get out.” A third, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Didn’t go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be “very careful” in his last days in office.
In the event of impeachment, House Democrats would likely delay sending impeachment articles to the Senate for trial by 100 days, in order to allow Biden to focus on other priorities.
Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Has said that instead of rallying, Democrats want to “talk about ridiculous things like ‘impeach a president”‘ with just a few days in office.
Still, some Republicans might be in favor.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse said he would review all articles sent by the House. Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, a frequent critic of Trump, said he would “vote the right way” if the matter came to him.
The Democratic effort to estimate Trump’s presidential record – for the second time – with the indelible mark of impeachment progressed rapidly after the riot.
Representative David Cicillin, DR.I, a leader in House efforts to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting an insurgency, said on Sunday his group had more than 200 co-sponsors.
What this meant for Biden and the start of his presidency potentially complicated Pelosi’s decision on impeachment. While reiterating that he has long viewed Trump as unfit for office, Biden avoided an impeachment question on Friday, saying what Congress did “it’s up to them to decide.”
Superville reported from Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press editors Alexandra Jaffe, Alan Fram, and Zeke Miller contributed to this report