Posted: Monday, January 11, 2021. 8:49 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: U.S. President Donald Trump has been accused of “incitement of insurrection”, a high crime and misdemeanor charged by the Democratic Party, in the sole count of impeachment brought against him in the House of Representatives today, Monday, according to the BBC.
Party leaders say they will vote to go ahead on Wednesday unless Vice-President Mike Pence invokes the 25th amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remove Trump from office, which he is said to oppose.
“The president represents an imminent threat to our constitution, our country, and the American people, and he must be removed from office immediately,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
Trump is scheduled to leave office on January 20 when successor Joe Biden is sworn in, but there is a bipartisan call for his earlier departure following last week’s events at the U.S. Capitol, which he is accused of encouraging his supporters to storm the building in support of his unproven allegations that the November presidential election was “stolen” from him. Five persons including a police officer died as a result.
The White House has dismissed the impeachment threat as “politically motivated”, but Mr. Trump has made no public statements since he was banned from several social media platforms – including Twitter – on Friday.
A year ago, Democrats impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But the Senate acquitted him on both charges in February 2020. He is the third president to be impeached; none have been convicted, and none have been impeached more than once. A conviction, which would bar him from running for office, is unlikely depending on his still broad support in the Senate.
On Monday, the Democrats presented a resolution to formally request that Mr. Pence invoke the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution, which allows the vice-president and the cabinet to declare Mr. Trump unfit for office.
The resolution urged Mr. Pence to “declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the president is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office”.
But, as expected, the resolution was not adopted by unanimous consent in the House, after Republican Alex Mooney of West Virginia objected to the request.
The House has now gone into recess until Tuesday morning when the chamber is expected to vote on the resolution.
Monday’s presentation of the impeachment article to the House paves the way for a vote to be held. A simple majority in favor of impeachment in the House would trigger a trial in the Senate.
However, an internal Senate memo says the soonest it could take up any articles of impeachment from the House would be on 19 January, the day before Mr. Trump’s term expires.
Constitutional experts are split on whether impeachment can still proceed to a Senate trial when Mr. Trump leaves office. But Democrats appear confident that the House can impeach Mr. Trump and send the articles to the Senate for a trial at a later date.
On Sunday, Democratic House whip James Clyburn said the party may not send any articles to the Senate for trial until after Mr. Biden’s first 100 days in office.
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