House Poised to Consider Impeachment Measure as Early as Monday
WASHINGTON – House Democrats are prepared to move to impeach President Donald Trump over his role in inciting a violent mob to attack the U.S. Capitol as early as Monday, according to staffers privy to talks Friday on Capitol Hill.
“Today, the House Democratic Caucus had an hours-long conversation that was sad, moving and patriotic. It was a conversation unlike any other, because it followed an action unlike any other,” Speaker Pelosi said in a statement released Friday night.
“It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign. But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment,” she said.
“Accordingly, the House will preserve every option – including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment,” Pelosi added.
The fast-track impeachment would reportedly dispense with the traditional hearings and move to a vote as early as next Wednesday, these sources said, speaking on background as there has been no formal announcement of the proceedings.
Among the charges being considered: incitement of an insurrection.
Asked about the fast-moving events during a news conference in Delaware, President-elect Joe Biden said he’s long believed Trump is unfit to be president.
“That’s why I ran for the office,” he said.
But declined to offer an opinion on impeachment, saying he’s focused solely on having his administration ready to address issues like the coronavirus pandemic and the economy “on day one.”
“What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide,” Biden said.
Asked what he’d say if a member of Congress called and asked what they should do in regard to impeachment, Biden held firm.
“I’d tell them that’s for Congress to decide,” he said.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in a letter delivered to members, said the House would move forward with impeachment if Trump did not resign immediately.
Judd Deere, the deputy White House press secretary, responded to the talk of impeachment with a Tweet in which he said, “As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one Nation. A politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”
She also tried to appeal to House Republicans to join the effort, calling Trump’s actions on Wednesday, when he addressed a gathering of supporters and directed them to march on the Capitol, as ” horrific assault on our democracy.”
She also drew a comparison to the Watergate scandal, when Republicans told President Richard Nixon that he had little support left in Congress and should resign rather than face impeachment.
“Today, following the president’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office — immediately,” Pelosi wrote. “If the president does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.”
At noon on Friday Pelosi held a conference call with House Democratic leaders to discuss impeachment and growing concerns about the safety of the presidential inauguration which is now just 12 days away.
Pelosi, who has repeatedly said the need to remove Trump from office is urgent, also revealed Friday that she had had called Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and spoke to him about “preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes.”
The Pentagon has confirmed that the two had spoken and said the general had “answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has also weighed in on the matter, calling Trump “a clear and present danger to the American people and our democracy.”
“He should be removed from office,” Hoyer said. “The 25th Amendment would be the quickest way to proceed, but Congress should consider impeachment if that Amendment is not invoked.”
Hoyer also urged “any and all public officials subject to the authority of the president to weigh very carefully any directive they may receive from him which they believe clearly violates the law or the Constitution and would place the security of America and its people in jeopardy.”
Several members of the House and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have urged Vice President Mike Pence in recent days to invoke the 25th Amendment to forcibly relieve Trump of his duties.
However, Pence has resisted those calls and apparently has not spoken to congressional leaders about them.
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