House speeding to impeach Trump for Capitol ‘insurrection’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Poised to impeach, the House sped ahead Monday with plans to oust President Donald Trump from office, warning he is a threat to democracy and pushing the vice president and Cabinet to act even more quickly in an extraordinary effort to remove Trump in the final days of his presidency.
Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — after the deadly Capitol riot in an impeachment resolution that the House will begin debating Wednesday.
At the same time, the FBI warned ominously Monday of potential armed protests in Washington and many states by Trump loyalists ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Jan. 20. In a dark foreshadowing, the Washington Monument was closed to the public amid the threats of disruption. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf abruptly resigned.
It all added up to stunning final moments for Trump’s presidency as Democrats and a growing number of Republicans declare he is unfit for office and could do more damage after inciting a mob that violently ransacked the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” states the four-page impeachment bill.
“He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” it states.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is summoning lawmakers back to Washington for votes, and Democrats aren’t the only ones who say Trump needs to go.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., encouraged House GOP colleagues late Monday to “vote your conscience,” according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private call. She has spoken critically of Trump’s actions, but has not said publicly how she will vote.
Pending impeachment, Democrats called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke their constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before Inauguration Day.
The Democrats’ House resolution was blocked by Republicans. However, the full House is to hold a roll call vote on it Tuesday, and it is expected to pass. After that, Pelosi said, Pence will have 24 hours to respond. Next would be the impeachment proceedings.
Pence has given no indication he is ready to proceed on a course involving the 25th Amendment.
He and Trump met late Monday for the first time since the Capitol attack, a senior administration official said.