Democrats will proceed with the impeachment of ‘deranged, unhinged and dangerous’ Donald Trump this week unless Mike Pence uses the 25th Amendment to force him from office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday night.
Pelosi made the announcement in a letter to colleagues, framing it as an ultimatum to Pence to invoke the powers of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
If not, she said, the House would proceed with impeachment.
Trump could become the only president to be impeached twice.
‘In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,’ she said, and added: ‘The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told 60 Minutes on Sunday that she wants impeachment for Donald Trump so he can’t run for office in the future
Pelosi said she would prefer if Vice President Mike Pence invoked the 25th Amendment ‘because it gets rid of him – he’s out of office’ now as concerns mount that Trump could pardon the mob in his last 10 days in office
She, and other Democrats, further fear the president could pardon those involved in the storming of the Capitol in his final days.
Pelosi’s plan seeks a vote on Monday on a resolution calling on Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment. Under rules when the full House is not convened, any objection would reject the resolution.
Pelosi would then put the resolution before the full House on Tuesday.
If it were to pass, Pence and the Cabinet would have 24 hours to act before the House would move toward impeachment.
With impeachment planning intensifying, two Republican senators said they want Trump to resign immediately as efforts mounted to prevent Trump from ever again holding elective office in the wake of deadly riots at the Capitol.
House Democrats were 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 on January 20.
Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and a top Biden ally, laid out the ideas on Sunday as the country came to grips with the siege at the Capitol by Trump loyalists trying to overturn the election results.
‘Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,’ Clyburn said.
Pressure was mounting for Trump to leave office even before his term ended amid alarming concerns of more unrest ahead of the inauguration.
Lawmakers and law enforcement are pursuing all available avenues to find and prosecute those involved in the Capitol riot – using picture and video evidence to do so
The president whipped up the mob that stormed the Capitol, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five dead.
Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Sunday joined his fellow Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in calling for Trump to ‘resign and go away as soon as possible.’
‘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, who has long voiced her exasperation with Trump’s conduct in office, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply ‘needs to get out.’
A third Republican, Sen. Roy Blunt, of Missouri, did not go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be ‘very careful’ in his final days in office.
Corporate America began to tie its reaction to the Capitol riots by tying them to campaign contributions.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s CEO and President Kim Keck said it will not contribute to those lawmakers — all Republicans — who supported challenges to Biden’s Electoral College win.
The group ‘will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy,’ Kim said.
Citigroup did not single out lawmakers aligned with Trump’s effort to overturn the election, but said it would be pausing all federal political donations for the first three months of the year. Citi’s head of global government affairs, Candi Wolff, said in a Friday memo to employees, ‘We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law.’
Lisa Murkowski, senator for Alaska, has said she is considering quitting the Republicans
Murkowski said that Trump should resign, saying he had done enough damage
The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump urged them to ‘fight’ on his behalf
Trump supporters, egged on by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday
House leaders, furious after the insurrection, appear determined to act against Trump despite the short timeline.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has said an impeachment trial could not begin under the current calendar before Inauguration Day.
While many have criticized Trump, Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive in a time of unity.
Senator Marco Rubio 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.
Still, some Republicans might be supportive.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said he would take a look at any articles that the House sent over. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a frequent Trump critic, said he would ‘vote the right way’ if the matter were put in front of him.
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.’
While some Democrats are pushing for the impeachment route, the House Speaker told ’60 Minutes’ in an interview that will air Sunday night that she prefers invoking the 25th Amendment because it gets Trump out of office immediately.
‘There is a possibility that after all of this, there’s no punishment, no consequence, and he could run again for president,’ CBS’ Lesley Stahl said to Pelosi in a clip released ahead of airing the full interview.
‘And that’s one of the motivations that people have for advocating for impeachment,’ Pelosi explained.
She is, however, concerned that if Trump is not booted from the White House right now, he will use his last 10 days in office to pardon those part of the mob who descended on the Capitol Wednesday – or even himself and other allies.
‘I like the 25th Amendment because it gets rid of him – he’s out of office,’ Pelosi said. ‘But there is strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time.’
‘What if he pardons himself?’ Stahl asked.
‘What if pardons these people who are terrorists on the Capitol?’ Pelosi shot back.
Congress is moving to prosecute or punish any and all they can find who were involved in the riots at the Capitol – and have already found some who were pictured prominently.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday in an interview with ABC’s ‘This Week’ that half of the members of the House were at risk of dying during the riots.
‘Perhaps my colleagues were not fully present for the events on Wednesday, but we came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday,’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday of the pro-Trump mob descending on the Capitol
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said Sunday that Democrats will vote on impeachment this week, but said the party might wait until after Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office to move the articles to the Senate
‘If another head of state came in and ordered an attack on the United States Congress, would we say that that should not be prosecuted? Would we say that there should be absolutely no response to that?’ the New York congresswoman told ABC host George Stephanopoulos.
‘No,’ Ocasio-Cortez asserted. ‘It is an act of insurrection. It’s an act of hostility. And we must have accountability, because, without it, it will happen again.
‘Perhaps my colleagues were not fully present for the events on Wednesday, but we came close to half of the House nearly dying on Wednesday,’ she said.
Hakeem Jeffries, a fellow New York Representative, agreed with AOC’s points in an interview with NBC on Sunday, claiming: ‘Donald Trump represents a clear and present danger to the health and safety of the American people, as well as our democracy’
The representative, as well as the handful of members of her progressive ‘squad’, are fully on board with plans to again impeach President Trump.
Clyburn said Sunday that articles have already been drawn and he is expecting a vote in the lower chamber in the coming day.
‘I think that will come – probably Tuesday, and maybe Wednesday, but it will happen this week,’ the No. 3 House Democrat told ‘Fox News Sunday’ when asked about the House taking action to impeach Trump. ‘The rest of the articles have been drawn up.’
‘If we are the people’s House, let’s do the people’s work and vote to impeach this president,’ Clyburn continued in his interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace. ‘And then we’ll decide later — or the Senate will decide later — what to do with that impeachment.’
Ocasio-Cortez said ‘every minute’ Trump is still in office, there is a looming threat.
‘I absolutely believe that impeachment should be scheduled for several reasons,’ she said on Sunday.
‘Our main priority is to ensure the removal of Donald Trump as president of the United States,’ AOC added. ‘Every minute and every hour that he is in office represents a clear and present danger, not just to the United States Congress, but, frankly, to the country.’
While Democrats pursue impeachment, many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are calling for Trump to step down on his own volition to prevent Congress from having to intervene.
Lawmakers were forced to evacuate the House and Senate chambers and shelter in offices or other locations on Wednesday after thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol and rioted through the halls
There are also talks of banning Trump from running for president again in the future – as speculation mounts he will pursue another run for the White House in 2024.
‘In addition to removal, we’re also talking about complete barring of the president – or, rather, of Donald Trump from running for office ever again,’ Ocasio-Cortez told ABC.
‘And, in addition to that, the potential ability to prevent pardoning himself from those charges that he was impeached for.’
Jeffries also wants immediate action against Trump, expressing concern that the president still has ‘access to the nuclear codes.’
‘The goal at the present moment is to address the existential threat that Donald Trump presents at this time. Every second, every minute, every hour that Donald Trump remains in office presents a danger to the American people,’ the Democrat representative said on Sunday during an interview on ‘Meet the Press’.
‘You know, Donald Trump may be in the Twitter penalty box, but he still has access to the nuclear codes,’ Jeffries said, referencing Trump’s indefinite ban from Twitter.
‘That’s a frightening prospect.’
He added: ‘Donald Trump is completely and totally out of control, and even his longtime enablers have now come to that conclusion.’
Clyburn, however, said Sunday that House Democrats are weighing if they should hold off on sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until after Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office.
This way, Democrats would allow the new president to install key members of his team and would have a new 50-50 split Senate to work with.