The House action could start as soon as Monday as Democrats attempt to pressure Trump to step aside.
By AP and World Israel News Staff
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will proceed with legislation to impeach President Donald Trump as she pushes the vice president and the Cabinet to invoke constitutional authority to force him out, warning that Trump is a threat to democracy after the deadly assault on the Capitol.
The House action could start as soon as Monday as Democrats attempt to pressure Trump to step aside. A Republican senator, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, joined Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in calling for Trump to “resign and go away as soon as possible.”
A stunning end to Trump’s final 10 days in office was underway as mainly Democratic lawmakers warned of the damage the president could still do before Joe Biden was inaugurated Jan. 20. Trump, holed up at the White House, was increasingly isolated after a mob rioted in the Capitol in support of his claims of election fraud.
“We will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat,” Pelosi said in a letter late Sunday to colleagues.
“The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
On Monday, Pelosi’s leadership team will seek a vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment, with a full House vote expected on Tuesday.
After that, Pence and the Cabinet would have 24 hours to act before the House would move toward impeachment.
During an interview on “60 Minutes” aired Sunday, Pelosi invoked the Watergate era when Republicans in the Senate told President Richard Nixon, “It’s over.”
“That’s what has to happen now,” she said.
With impeachment planning intensifying, Toomey said he doubted impeachment could be done before Biden is inaugurated, even though a growing number of lawmakers say that step is necessary to ensure Trump can never hold elected office again.
“I think the president has disqualified himself from ever, certainly, serving in office again,” Toomey said. “I don’t think he is electable in any way.”
Murkowski, long exasperated with the president, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply “needs to get out.” A third, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., did not go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be “very careful” in his final days in office.
Others were leery of impeachment. Rep. Nancy Mace, (R-S.C.), told NBC News “snap impeachment” might be like “pouring gasoline on the fire.”
Sen. Roy Blunt, (R-Mo.), said Trump should finish out the final 10 days of his term.
Sen. Lindsey Grahan, R-SC., also said Trump should be allowed to finish. Having spoken to him at length after the Capitol riot, he said Trump was now focused on highlighting his contributions as president. He has urged President-elect Joe Biden to tell House Democrats to back off impeachment as it will only further divide America.
Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.) said that instead of coming together, Democrats want to “talk about ridiculous things like ‘Let’s impeach a president’” with just days left in office.
House Democrats are boring ahead. They are expected to introduce articles of impeachment on Monday. The strategy would be to condemn the president’s actions swiftly but delay an impeachment trial in the Senate for 100 days. That would allow President-elect Joe Biden to focus on other priorities as soon as he is inaugurated Jan. 20.
Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and a top Biden ally, laid out the ideas Sunday as the country came to grips with the siege at the Capitol by Trump loyalists.
“Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,” Clyburn said.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.) has said an impeachment trial could not begin under the current calendar before Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.
Attorney Alan Dershowitz has been vocal against the impeachment process, saying it’s not possible to impeach a normal citizen, which is what Trump would be after he leaves office.
The Democratic effort to stamp Trump’s presidential record — for the second time — with the indelible mark of impeachment had advanced rapidly since the riot.
Rep. David Cicilline, (D-R.I.) a leader of the House effort to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said Sunday that his group had 200-plus co-sponsors.
The articles, if passed by the House, could then be transmitted to the Senate for a trial, with senators acting as jurors to acquit or convict Trump. If convicted, Trump would be removed from office and succeeded by the vice president. It would be the first time a U.S. president had been impeached twice.
Potentially complicating Pelosi’s decision about impeachment was what it meant for Biden and the beginning of his presidency. While reiterating that he had long viewed Trump as unfit for office, Biden on Friday sidestepped a question about impeachment, saying what Congress did “is for them to decide.”