President Trump faces a new threat with less than two weeks left in his presidency as House Democrats edge closer to his impeachment for the second time.
Lawmakers signaled their division following Wednesday’s riot, which saw Trump supporters storm the Capitol – smashing windows, trashing offices and destroying artifacts and other parts of the historic building in the process.
Democrats and GOP lawmakers blamed the attacks on Trump, who at a rally earlier in the day urged his supporters to march to the Capitol while repeating his disputed claims of a “stolen” election.
Trump faced further sentencing for social media posts he made during the riot, including one in which he asked his supporters to stand down while simultaneously praising the crowd, calling them “very special people” and saying he loved them.
Twitter has since permanently suspended Trump’s accountand Facebook and Snapchat also issued indefinite suspensions for Trump on their platforms.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) Friday says if Trump doesn’t resign on her role in inciting the riot, which left five people dead, she led the house rules committee to quickly pass a motion to impeach Trump as well as legislation to create a commission that can declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
It came after Pelosi suggested earlier this week that House lawmakers would move to impeach Trump if Vice President Pence and other Cabinet officials did not impeach the president by invoking the 25th Amendment.
Pence would have opposes the use of the 1967 amendmentwhich ensures that the government remains in office if a sitting president is deemed unfit to perform his essential duties.
A trio of Democratic lawmakers – Reps. David Cicilline (RI), Ted Place (California) and Jamie Raskin (Md.) — is preparing to introduce new articles of impeachment against Trump as early as Monday’s pro forma session. The articles would address both Trump’s role in the Capitol siege and his months-long refusal to accept electoral defeat.
Trump for the first time acknowledged his loss in recorded remarks Thursday, declaring that “a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20” and that its “goal now is to ensure a smooth, orderly and transparent transition of power”.
Trump, however, in one of his last tweets before being banned from Twitter, announced that he would not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, breaking with more than a century of tradition.
As the Jan. 20 inauguration draws near, many wondered what a Trump impeachment trial would look like with a new president already in the Oval Office.
On Friday, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) circulates a note to colleagues outlining the procedure for holding another impeachment trial for Trump.
The document, which was first reported by The Washington Post, explains how the Senate would proceed if the House approved the articles of impeachment and forwarded them to the upper house on or before Jan. 19, when senators must resume their regular activities after the January break.
McConnell says the most likely scenario is for the Senate to receive a message from the lower house notifying it of the impeachment action on Jan. 19. This would then give the Senate the ability to order House impeachment officials to introduce those items on the same day.
The Senate impeachment rules state that at 1 p.m. the day after the officials present the items, the Senate “shall proceed to consider them,” the memo said.
As a result, the Senate trial would not begin until an hour after Biden was sworn in.
In the White House’s first public remarks on a possible impeachment, spokesman Judd Deere said in A declaration friday that “a politically motivated impeachment of a president with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”
Republican lawmakers have also warned against impeachment so close to Inauguration Day. we are and impeachment only inflames those who believe this election was stolen.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also said Friday that he believes “impeachment of the president with only 12 days left in his term will only further divide our country.” .
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) likewise dismissed impeachment appealsarguing that “it’s a ridiculous discussion to have” and that he has “enough decisions to make about things that can happen rather than spending time on things that can’t happen”.
So far, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) is the only Republican in the House to publicly support invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) became Friday the first GOP senator call for trump’s resignation
Alexander Bolton of The Hill contributed.