Democrats indicated Friday they’re serious about impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time if his Cabinet does not vote to remove him using the 25th Amendment.
What You Need To Know
- Democrats indicated Friday they’re serious about impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time if his Cabinet does not vote to remove him using the 25th Amendment
- Democrats, and even some Republicans, say they believe Trump poses a danger to the country and should be held accountable for inciting Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol
- Rep. Katherine Clark, the assistant House speaker, said articles of impeachment could be voted on by the middle of next week
- Republican Sen. Ben Sassae said Friday he “will definitely consider whatever articles [the House] might move”
Democrats, and even some Republicans, say they believe Trump, who will be replaced in the White House by President-elect Joe Biden in 12 days, poses a danger to the country and should be held accountable for inciting Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead and dozens hospitalized.
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), the assistant House speaker, told CNN’s “New Day” on Friday morning that articles of impeachment could be voted on by the middle of next week.
“Donald Trump needs to be removed from office,” Clark said. “And we are going to proceed with every tool that we have to make sure that that happens to protect our democracy.
“We know that we have limited time, but that every day that Donald Trump is president of the United States is a day of grave danger.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Thursday called for Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows for the president to be removed from office if he is unable to perform his duties. Pelosi and Schumer threatened pursuing impeachment if the 25th Amendment is not used. CNN reported it is “highly unlikely” Pence will support invoking the 25th Amendment.
Pelosi said in a news conference Thursday that the “overwhelming sentiment” of House Democrats is that Trump should not finish out his term.
“The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America,” Pelosi said. “The gleeful desecration of the U.S. Capitol, which is the temple of our American democracy, and the violence targeting Congress are horrors that will forever stain our nation’s history, instigated by the president of the United States.”
Reuters reported that House Democrats will hold a conference call at noon Eastern to discuss their next steps. Multiple House Democrats have already drafted separate articles of impeachment accusing Trump of inciting violent sedition and posing a threat to national security.
In a video statement Thursday evening, Trump condemned the rioting by his supporters. A day earlier, however, he told them in a separate video, “We love you, you’re very special.” The president had addressed the crowd just before they stormed the Capitol, telling them, “You will never take back our country with weakness.”
Trump would become the first president ever to be impeached twice. The House impeached him in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in response to his phone call pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden. The Republican-led Senate, however, acquitted Trump.
Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican who voted against removing Trump then, told “CBS This Morning” on Friday he “will definitely consider whatever articles [the House] might move.”
“Donald Trump has acted shamefully,” the Nebraska senator said. “He has been in flagrant dereliction of his duty, and he will be remembered for having incited this and for having drawn more division into an already divided people. That is who Donald Trump is. That is what his legacy is going to be.”
Not every Republican is on board. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, said on Twitter Friday that impeachment "will do more harm than good."
"Any attempt to impeach President Trump would not only be unsuccessful in the Senate but would be a dangerous precedent for the future of the presidency," he said. "It will take both parties to heal the nation."
It’s unclear if the Senate would, or even can, hold an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office. Clark said Congress can act quickly when it wants to. If the Senate convicts Trump, it could disqualify him from seeking office again.
While not a factor in a potential impeachment or the 25th amendment, Alyssa Farah, a former White House communications director under Trump, said Friday the president lied about election fraud and should “seriously consider” resigning.
“If you tell people their vote was stolen, so foundational to who we are as a country, of course it’s going to end in violence and in riots, and it’s awful,” she told CNN.