WASHINGTON — House Republicans blocked a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare President Donald Trump incapable of governing after the president incited a violent insurrection last week that resulted in five deaths, including one Capitol Police officer.
Democrats brought the resolution to the floor Monday, and Republican Rep. Alex Mooney of West Virginia objected to the measure, arguing a resolution “of this magnitude” required a full debate, forcing a full House vote expected Tuesday.
“The US House must never adopt a resolution that demands the removal of a duly elected president, without any hearings, debate, or recorded votes,” said Mooney, a conservative House member who has pushed for the decertification of the election results.
The resolution follows an ultimatum House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued to Pence Sunday night, calling for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment or the House would proceed with bringing articles of impeachment to the floor.
“If we do not receive Unanimous Consent, this legislation is planned to be brought up on the Floor the following day,” Pelosi said in the statement. “We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours. Next, we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor.”
Pelosi’s statement Sunday also laid out a timeline for the coming days. With Congress not in session and most members in their home districts, the plan is to first bring the 25th Amendment resolution drafted by Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat of Maryland, and then bring articles of impeachment to the floor as soon as Wednesday.
Raskin's resolution, which Republicans objected to Monday, reads, “[O]n Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the day fixed by the Constitution for the counting of electoral votes, Congress experienced a massive violent invasion of the United States Capitol and its complex by a dangerous insurrectionary mob which smashed windows and used violent physical force and weapons to overpower and outmaneuver the United States Capitol Police and facilitated the illegal entry into the Capitol of hundreds, if not thousands, of unauthorized persons."
It continues, “[T]hese insurrectionary protests were widely advertised and broadly encouraged by President Donald J. Trump, who repeatedly urged his millions of followers on Twitter and other social media outlets to come to Washington on January 6 to 'Stop the Steal' of the 2020 Presidential election and promised his activist followers that the protest on the Electoral College counting day would be ‘wild.’”
House Democrats have already drafted and circulated an article of impeachment against Trump for inciting insurrection. The measure was introduced in the House Monday morning by Raskin, as well as Reps. David Cicilline, Ted Lieu, and Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” the article reads.
In an interview with CNN Monday morning, Cicilline said he is confident there will be majority support for the impeachment and expects a vote Wednesday in the House. The article of impeachment would next go to the Senate for a trial.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who introduced the 25th Amendment resolution for Democrats on Monday, said that whether the Senate would ultimately vote to remove Trump from office "is not the issue. The issue is, we have a president who, most of us believe participated in encouraging an insurrection and attack on this building and on democracy and trying to subvert the counting of the presidential ballot."
"Now we are trying to act in an expeditious fashion on making sure that this president, as soon as possible, [is] remove[d] from the ability to repeat the seditious activity took last Wednesday and the encouragement of people to attack the government, an equal branch of government, and to prevent us from doing our constitutional responsibility," he added.
Trump has just nine days left in office and would be the first president in history to be impeached twice. The House impeached Trump in December 2019, on two counts, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, after a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in which he solicited interference into the 2020 election.
This time, Trump faces just one charge: “incitement of insurrection.”
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