Impeachment Resolution Accuses Trump of Inciting Mob That Attacked Capitol
WASHINGTON – House Democrats introduced a single article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday, charging him with inciting thousands of his supporters to carry out a violent attack on the Capitol as lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
As expected, the House met in a pro forma session Monday so that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., could request Unanimous Consent to bring the resolution drafted by Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin, of Maryland, Ted Lieu, of California, and David Cicilline, of Rhode Island.
The resolution calls on Vice President Pence to convene and mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to declare President Donald Trump incapable of executing the duties of his office.
If Pence does so, he will immediately assume power as acting president until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
But Rep. Alex Mooney, a Republican from West Virginia, rose to object, summarily ending Monday’s consideration of the resolution. It will now be brought to the floor of the House at 9 a.m. tomorrow, where, already having 210 co-sponsors, it is expected to pass.
Vice President Pence will then have until sometime Wednesday to remove the president. If he doesn’t act, the House will immediately begin impeachment proceedings.
The article of impeachment the representatives have drafted accuses the president of engaging in high crimes and misdemeanors by “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”
In a speech outside the White House last Wednesday morning, Trump falsely claimed that he had won the election and urged thousands of his fans to march to the Capitol to support his GOP allies.
Among the things he told the already angry crowd was “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
“[I]ncited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to … interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced members of Congress, the vice president and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts,” the impeachment article states.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transfer of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
Five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, were killed as the Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.
The Capitol now is the scene of a federal murder investigation.
A second U.S. Capitol Police officer who responded to the riots last week died while off-duty on Saturday, though the cause of death has not been officially announced.
Two other proposals did not make it to the floor for consideration on Monday.
One, filed by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, would censure the president for his role in the deadly riot on Capitol Hill
A censure is a formal reprimand or statement of disapproval. Though it would lack the teeth of a second impeachment of the president, Norton argues it would be a more politically palatable option for Congress to pass.
“Censure is the only remedy that can pass both chambers immediately and, unlike impeachment, will not delay President-elect Biden’s agenda in the Senate,” she said in a statement.
The second resolution not considered Monday was introduced by Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. It would have Republican members of the House who supported contesting battleground states’ electors in Wednesday’s joint session of Congress be investigated and potentially removed from office.
“I believe the Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election must face consequences,” Bush tweeted. “They have broken their sacred Oath of Office. I will be introducing a resolution calling for their expulsion.”
Meanwhile, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the public emergency order declared last week for a total of 15 days through Inauguration Day, giving her the ability to call curfew at any time.
She has also requested that the president declare the city a federal disaster area in advance of expected mass protests by Trump’s right-wing supporters in the city on Jan. 17 and Jan. 20.
The mayor and other city officials on Monday also requested the public stay away from Joe Biden’s inaugural on Jan. 20 citing COVID-19 concerns and the attack on the Capitol.
Bowser is also asking for a daily FBI intelligence and threat briefing from Jan. 11 to 24 and has asked the Department of Interior to cancel and/or deny all public gathering permits for the same time period.
In addition she’s asked that agencies establish a security and federal force deployment plan for all federal property.