Donald Trump, who has only a few days left in his presidency and is being silenced by Twitter and shunned by a growing number of Republican officials, is once again facing Democratic urges to remove him from office after inducing his supporters to do so had to storm the US Capitol.
Democratic members of the House of Representatives will launch formal impeachment procedures on Monday, Representative Ted Lieu said on Twitter. The California Democrat, who helped draft the indictment, said the articles attracted 180 co-sponsors as of Saturday afternoon. A Lieu spokeswoman said no Republicans had signed up yet.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Congress Democrat, has threatened to indict Trump a second time unless he resigns “immediately,” a move the militant president is unlikely to consider.
Pelosi has also asked members to draft a bill aimed at enforcing the 25th amendment to the US Constitution that allows for the removal of a president who is unable to perform the duties of the office.
Trump “did something so serious – that there should be prosecution,” Pelosi said, according to an early excerpt from the interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes”.
Increased efforts to oust Trump from the White House have dispersed Republicans, whose party has been fragmented by the president’s actions. Democrats have urged Vice President Mike Pence to consider the 25th amendment, but a Pence adviser has said he opposes the idea.
The chances that Trump will actually be removed before January 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, remain long. Any impeachment in the House of Representatives would trigger a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, which is said to be on recess until January 19 and has already acquitted Trump once.
Trump has said he won’t be at Biden’s inauguration, but Pence will attend, a senior administration official said on Saturday.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a memo to fellow Republican senators suggesting that a trial would not begin until Trump was out of office, a source familiar with the document said. A Senate conviction requires a two-thirds vote.
Democrats will take control of the Senate later this month after Georgia confirmed two runoff elections won by Democratic challengers.
Twitter finally blocked Trump’s personal account and access to his nearly 90 million followers late Friday, pointing to the risk of further incitement to violence three days after Trump warned thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol when Congress met to confirm Biden’s November 3rd election victory.
The resulting attack, seen in shock worldwide, left a police officer and four other dead as rioters broke through the Capitol and forced lawmakers to go into hiding for their own safety.
In his first public comments, Pope Francis said he was “amazed” and that anyone involved in attacks on democracy should be condemned.
A Florida man photographed smiling and waving as he carried Pelosi’s lectern out of the chambers of the house in the chaos was arrested by federal law enforcement officers late Friday.
Authorities also arrested a man who was seen in popular photos wearing a horned fur hat and a spear in the Capitol. Dozens of others are being charged by the federal and state governments.
“I want him out”
Twitter’s decision suppressed one of Trump’s most powerful tools. His frequent posts helped fuel his 2016 presidential campaign. He has since used the website to open his base and attack his political opponents of both parties.
Trump later used the official @POTUS government account to get involved on Twitter. He said the 75 million “great patriots” who voted for him would not be silenced and he was considering building his own social media platform.
Twitter quickly deleted these posts and soon afterwards also suspended the Trump campaign account.
A Reuters / Ipsos poll conducted Thursday and Friday found that 57% of Americans want Trump to be removed from office immediately after the violence.
A small but growing number of Republicans have joined calls for Trump to step down, and several senior administrative officials have resigned in protest.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said Friday that Trump should resign immediately, suggesting that she would consider leaving the party altogether if Republicans couldn’t part with him.
“I want him out. He’s done enough damage,” she told the Anchorage Daily News.
Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey told Fox News Saturday that Trump “committed criminal acts” but refused to vote to remove Trump.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, a frequent Trump critic, told CBS News that he would “definitely consider impeachment” because the president had “disregarded his oath of office.”
Trump allies, including Senator Lindsey Graham and Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy, however, have urged Democrats to end all impeachment efforts on behalf of the unit.
“Charging President Donald Trump with 12 days left in office would only help to divide the country further,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
Democratic lawmakers have also called for some of their Republican counterparts to resign or be disfellowshipped for their roles in support of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of rigged election.
Sherrod Brown, Democratic Senator from Ohio, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who called for the vote of electoral college for states that voted to reject Biden, “betrayed their oath of office and instigated a violent uprising had our democracy. “
“If they don’t resign, the Senate will have to expel them,” said Brown, the first senator to call for the couple’s expulsion.
Representative Don Beyer, a Democrat from Virginia, also called on McCarthy to resign to support efforts to block Biden’s election.
A copy of the draft impeachment proceedings circulating among members of Congress accused Trump of “inciting violence against the United States government” to reverse his loss of Biden.
The House indicted Trump in December 2019 for pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden, but the Senate acquitted him in February 2020. Only two other presidents have been charged and none have been charged twice.
Trump spent months falsely claiming the election was stolen from him because of widespread fraud. Dozens of courts around the country have filed lawsuits against the results, and election officials from both parties said there was no evidence to support his claims.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)