Washington (AP) – After supporters of Donald Trump storm the Capitol, Democrats want to start new impeachment proceedings against the elected US president this Monday.
Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu told CNN the Democrats would propose a resolution on Monday to impeach Trump in the House of Representatives. His Democratic colleague James Clyburn told CNN on Sunday that a plenary vote to open proceedings could take place on Tuesday or Wednesday. Criticism of the president is also growing among Trump’s Republicans: two Republican senators are now demanding his resignation.
Lieu is co-author of the motion for a resolution, in which the only charge against Trump is “incitement”. Trump is accused 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.
Trump will automatically leave office with the inauguration of his Democratic successor Joe Biden on Jan. 20. 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.
According to the Democrats, the procedure is also about setting an example after the attack on parliament. They had called on Trump to resign or Vice President Mike Pence to take steps to prevent his impeachment – and otherwise threatened with impeachment. The broadcaster CNN reported on Sunday that Pence wanted to participate in the swearing-in of Biden. Trump canceled his participation on Friday.
Three other suspects have since been arrested because of the unrest in the Capitol. The Washington district attorney announced that it was also Jacob Chansley, who appeared as a shaman and entered the Capitol with a fur and horn headdress, painted face, bare chest, and spear with an American flag – photos of him were taken taken around the world. Round. A suspect named Adam Johnson was also arrested by the police. He is said to have stolen the lectern of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in the Capitol.
A member of the West Virginia House of Representatives, Derrick Evans, was also reportedly arrested. He reportedly had a video of his Capitol break-in live on his Facebook page. Evans announced his resignation on Saturday. The public prosecutor announced that the three men were accused, among other things, of illegally entering a specially secured building. In all, the cases of 18 alleged rioters are pending in federal court.
The arrests put pressure on Trump. The documents published by the prosecutor show that Chansley himself called the FBI on Thursday and identified himself as a man in the horned headdress. He also stated that he had traveled from Arizona to Washington because the president had called all “patriots” to the capital before Wednesday. Trump condemned the attack on parliament just a day late and after massive criticism.
Anger is also growing among Trump’s 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.
Biden had announced that he would not intervene in a decision to open impeachment proceedings by the House of Representatives. A Senate trial could make Biden’s new government much more difficult. The chamber would largely block the proceedings for weeks pending a ruling. But Biden is dependent on the confirmation of his appointed cabinet members and numerous senior government officials by the senators. He is also dependent on the powerful chamber for important legislative projects, for example in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic MP Clyburn said he and Pelosi were concerned that Biden’s start could be hindered by impeachment in the Senate. It is possible that Pelosi will wait until the first 100 days of the Biden government to file the charges with the Senate. Only with this step can the procedure in the Senate begin.
Trump did not speak publicly over the weekend. On Friday evening, Twitter had permanently blocked his @ realDonaldTrump account, depriving him of his main communication platform. Twitter cited the “risk of further incitement to violence” as the reason. Trump accused Twitter Friday night in a message circulated through White House reporters of plotting with the Democrats to silence him.
Pelosi also called for criminal consequences for Trump over the unrest in the Capitol. “Sadly, the executive is a troubled, confused and dangerous president of the United States,” said the chairman of the CBS House of Representatives. “And there are only a few days before we can be protected from him. But he did something so serious that he had to be prosecuted. ‘
Trump enjoys immunity from prosecution as president. This immunity ends with his term of office on January 20. US media has reported that Trump has spoken to advisers about pardon several times after the November 3 election. A president’s self-forgiveness would be a novelty. It is controversial whether such a step is legally permissible. The constitution does not explicitly exclude self-forgiveness.