By MARIAM KHAN, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — House Democrats followed through with their threats and filed a single article of impeachment on Monday against President Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection” following the violent mob riot on Capitol Hill last week that left five people dead.
If Trump is impeached this week, he would the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
The “incitement of insurrection” article of impeachment was introduced by Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., along with more than 210 Democratic co-sponsors.
The measure says that Trump has “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
The Article of Impeachment: Incitement to Insurrection, drafted by Rep @davidcicilline, @RepRaskin, me & @HouseJudiciary staff, has now been formally introduced at the House pro forma session today. https://t.co/Y6ntbSXF9G pic.twitter.com/MfB4CpqC6C
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 11, 2021
“[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,” the article says.
The impeachment article also cited Trump’s call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where he urged him to “find” enough votes for Trump to win the state.
It also cited the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, noting that it “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from holding office.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told Democrats they will move forward with an impeachment vote immediately if Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet do not invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from power.
House Democrats attempted to pass a resolution Monday morning that calls on Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., made a unanimous consent request on the House floor during a brief session.
The request was objected to by GOP Rep. Alex Mooney of West Virginia.
“On Wednesday, the President incited a deadly insurrection against America that targeted the very heart of our Democracy. The President represents an imminent threat to our Constitution, our Country and the American people, and he must be removed from office immediately. Today, in pro forma session, Leader Hoyer introduced a Unanimous Consent request to take up legislation by Congressman Jamie Raskin calling on the Vice President to mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to remove the President,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“The House Republicans rejected this legislation to protect America, enabling the President’s unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue. Their complicity endangers America, erodes our Democracy, and it must end. The House will next take up the Raskin legislation in regular order to call upon the Vice President to activate the 25th Amendment to remove the President. We are further calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours after passage,” she said.
“As our next step, we will move forward with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor. The President’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action,” she said.
The House is now expected to return at 9 a.m. Tuesday to debate and pass the 25th Amendment bill via a roll call vote.
Democrats will give Pence 24 hours to respond and act, otherwise they will likely move forward with an impeachment vote later this week, either by Wednesday or Thursday.
Hoyer said the impeachment vote could come as early as Wednesday, but that timeline could slip later into the week.
As of right now, no Republicans have signed on to the legislation that calls on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which is a likely indicator as to what happens with a potential vote on impeachment.
But sources tell ABC News that it’s possible some Republicans may vote to impeach Trump.
It’s still unclear, if the article of impeachment is passed, when it would be sent over to the Senate, which would trigger an immediate trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won’t bring back the Senate from recess before Jan. 19, which could push the trial into the beginning of the Biden administration.
Some Democrats have said the lower chamber should delay sending the article of impeachment over to the Senate until President-elect Joe Biden has a Cabinet in place. But other Democrats, including Hoyer, have said the Senate trial should not be delayed.
Cicilline said Monday that he supports sending impeachment articles to the Senate right away, too.
He said “we have the numbers” already to impeach Trump, unlike in 2019 when no Republicans supported that impeachment effort.
“I expect that we’ll have Republican support,” Cicilline said. “I think it’s urgent that the president be removed immediately.”
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