Washington (AP) – After Donald Trump supporters storm the Capitol, Democrats in Congress this Monday want to take concrete steps to overthrow the elected US president.
House leader Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to her faction colleagues published Sunday night (local time) that a resolution would be tabled Monday calling on Vice President Mike Pence to take immediate steps to oust Trump. This should be decided in plenary no later than Tuesday. Pence is asked to respond within 24 hours.
In a next step, the House of Representatives will then initiate parliamentary impeachment proceedings against Trump, Pelosi’s letter said. “We will act urgently in protecting our constitution and our democracy, because this president is an immediate threat to both. The more days that pass, the greater the horror of this president’s ongoing attack on our democracy, and the more urgent the need for action. “
The Democrats have already drafted a resolution for the parliamentary impeachment process against Trump. The only accusation made is “inciting uproar”. Trump is accused in the text of inciting his supporters to a rally ahead of the storm on the Capitol. In the riot five people were killed, including a police officer. The motion calls Trump “a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution.” Trump would be the first US president in history to open two impeachment proceedings.
Pelosi has been urging Pence in recent days to take steps to oust Trump. It is based on Amendment 25 of the US Constitution. According to this, the Vice President, by a majority of key cabinet members, may declare the President incapable of “exercising the rights and duties of office”. Pence has not yet responded to the demands. Criticism of the president is also growing among Trump’s Republicans: two Republican senators are now demanding his resignation.
Trump will automatically leave office with the inauguration of his Democratic successor Joe Biden on Jan. 20. CNN reported that Pence wanted to attend the ceremony. Trump had canceled his participation in Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.
Even if the House of Representatives decided to initiate impeachment this week, a decision in the Senate in which it was headed would be next to impossible before January 20. In addition to impeachment, the draft resolution also provides for the ban of Trump from future government buildings. This would deny him a possible candidacy in 2024.
Two other suspects were arrested on Sunday after the Capitol was stormed. The Washington prosecutor said the FBI arrested one of the suspects in Texas and the other in Tennessee. The two intruders are said to have carried plastic handcuffs in the Capitol, as they are normally used by police officers during arrests.
Prosecutors said the defendants have been charged by federal court with illegal entry into a specially secured building, as well as violent entry and inappropriate behavior on the Capitol grounds. In connection with Wednesday’s storm on the Capitol, at least 20 suspects are now required to report to federal court.
Discontent with Trump is also growing among Republicans. Lieu said several Republican congressmen wanted to vote in favor of the resolution impeaching Trump. The House of Representatives – controlled by the Democrats – can decide to initiate impeachment proceedings with a simple majority. The proceedings, which are similar to legal proceedings, but would be conducted and decided in the Senate. The two-thirds majority needed there to impeach Trump is currently unforeseeable. But the future 50 Democrats are missing the votes of 17 Republicans.
However, Trump is also facing increasing headwinds from Republicans in the Senate. Republican Senator Pat Toomey on Sunday joined his colleague Lisa Murkowski’s call for Trump to resign. “I think that’s the best way forward,” he told CNN. Republican Senator Ben Sasse told CBS he would “certainly consider” an indictment from the United States House of Representatives.
The Senate will not meet until January 19 for its next regular session. A memorandum from Mitch McConnell, majority leader in the Republican Senate, circulated by the Washington Post, states that under current rules, proceedings can begin at 1:00 p.m. on January 20 at the earliest – an hour after Biden’s swearing-in and Trump’s departure from the office.