House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Holds a press conference at the Capitol Visitor Center on Friday June 26, 2020.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
The House will move closer to the indictment of President Donald Trump on Monday, an unprecedented second time for his role in sparking an invasion of the Capitol during last week’s congressional vote.
Democrats plan to introduce an impeachment article on Monday indicting Trump of high crimes and offenses for instigating a riot and disrupting the peaceful transfer of power. The three representatives who led the effort – Representatives Jamie Raskin, D-Md., David Cicilline, D-R.I., And Ted Lieu, D-Calif. – say 210 house members supported the measure.
That puts them just ahead of the 218 majority required to indict Trump in the House, though the number could be lower due to vacancies and absences. Democrats hold 222 seats.
In a letter to the Democrats on Sunday, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said her party would seek to pass Raskin’s resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment to Trump to remove from office. Democrats will seek to unanimously approve the measure during the pro forma session on Monday at 11 a.m. ET, but will put it to the full vote on Tuesday if they fail, Pelosi said.
“We will act urgently in protecting our Constitution and our democracy as this President poses an imminent threat to both,” she wrote. “As the days go by, the horror of our president’s ongoing attack on our democracy increases, as does the immediate need for action.”
Parliament will likely vote to indict Trump by the end of this week, just days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20. Democrats say they have previously taken no action against Trump to heighten the risk of more violence and leave the president unscathed from spurring a mob that stormed the Capitol, killed a police officer and threatened the lives of pence and lawmakers .
Speaking to his supporters in Washington DC shortly before the Capitol siege, Trump repeated lies that widespread fraud cost him the November elections. On the day of the vote, he falsely claimed that Pence had the power to stop the count itself and send the process back to states.
The Senate likely won’t have time to condemn Trump and remove him before the president leaves office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said in a memo that the chamber would not receive any impeachment articles until Jan. 19, according to NBC News.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., Told CNN Sunday that the House could delay submitting articles to the Senate until after Biden’s first 100 days in office. He fears that the Senate, spending time on trial in the early days of administration, would hamper Biden’s early agenda, which would include ratification of cabinet members and anti-coronavirus legislation.
The White House and the House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Have argued that impeachment would divide the country. McCarthy, who refused to count Biden’s valid and certified election victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania even after the mob stormed the Capitol, said he had turned to Biden to help unite the country.
Proponents of impeachment have said that if Trump is not held accountable for attacking the democratic process, another uprising will be more likely.
Until the Senate votes on the impeachment, the chamber could be split 50% between Democrats and Republicans. While the Chamber couldn’t remove Trump from office at this point, it could prevent him from becoming president again if he tried to run for office in 2024.
If all Democrats vote to condemn Trump, 17 Republicans would have to join them to meet the required two-thirds threshold. It is now unclear whether Democrats can muster that much GOP support.
Two Senate Republicans, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, have called on Trump to step down. Another, Ben Sasse, of Nebraska, said he would “look into” all impeachment articles the House sent to the Senate.
Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was the only GOP Senator who voted to remove Trump from office last year.