The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday evening, formally calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office.
Pence had earlier ruled out the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment, but the House, which had earlier introduced an article of impeachment as an alternative way to oust Trump, wants him to save his excuses.
“On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, we saw domestic enemies incite violence and invade the people’s house with intent to harm provoked by President Trump. … The President has completely lost whatever moral authority he had and is unfit as Commander in Chief. His actions to incite violence against his own government and the entire Congress warrants removal from office.
“And if Administration officials refuse to invoke the 25th Amendment, I am moving forward with Articles of Impeachment to remove him from office,” Congresswoman Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committee on Judiciary wrote in her Article of Impeachment.
The five reasons mentioned in the Article are:
- Trump’s refusal to acknowledge to the American people that he would accept and be bound by the verdict rendered in the 2020 Presidential election.
- Taking active measures to impede and undermine the ability of American citizens to convey their disapproval of his continuance in office by exercising their rights as voters, including misusing the United States Postal Service to prevent the 16 timely delivery of mail-in ballots.
- Instituting frivolous lawsuits to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, falsely alleging wide-spread voting fraud but producing no evidence in support of his spurious allegations.
- Exhorting and inciting his supporters to believe falsely that victory in the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him and that constitutionally required Joint Meeting of Congress for the purpose of counting the votes of elector and announcement of the result by the president of the Senate was illegitimate and intended to complete the theft of his victory.
- Failing to take action to protect and defend Federal officers and personnel, property, buildings, and institutions on January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol that was besieged by supporters of Donald John Trump, resulting in extensive damage to the property of the United States and the deaths of at least four persons.
This was followed by a single Article of Impeachment introduced formally by members of the House for “incitement of insurrection.” Citing Crimes and Misdemeanors, the article seeks to invoke the 14th Amendment which prohibits any person who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States from holding any office.
The House Judiciary Committee supported the invocation of the 14th Amendment citing ongoing threats by Trump supporters to cause further harm.
“The threat that manifested in the Capitol on January 6, 2021 is ongoing. The emergency is still with us. Reports suggest that the president’s supporters are threatening additional violence in Washington D.C. and in the state capitals across the nation.
“The fourteenth Amendment prohibits an officer of the United States who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from “hold[ing] any office under the United States.” Yet, despite widespread and bipartisan calls for his immediate resignation, the president has refused to leave office. The Vice President has thus far failed to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment to remove the president from office. The House has taken every step short of impeachment to contain the danger. Now it is time to consider this last, grave, necessary step,” the Committee said in statement.
While the 2th Amendment is unlikely going to be invoked by Pence, many Republicans who have broken camp with Trump are now supporting impeachment. So far, at least five Republicans have said they are going to vote for impeachment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named nine Democrats as managers of impeachment trial of President Trump, as voting is expected to commence Wednesday.
Defiant Trump has failed to take responsibility for the insurrection, defending what he told his supporters as “appropriate” adding that the “ridiculous” impeachment push is “causing tremendous anger” across the United States. He said “it’s the continuation of the Greatest Witch Hunt in the history of politics.”
However, the House Judicial Committee said the impeachment is not a punishment of prior wrongs, but a protection against future evils. The Committee explained that it is true that the President’s remaining term is limited – but the President is capable of greater danger still. But he must be removed from office as swiftly as the Constitution allows. And he must be disqualified to prevent the recurrence of the extraordinary threat he presents. He must also be disqualified to prevent the recurrence of the extra threat he presents. For these reason, the House must impeach Donald Trump, the Committee said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated his support for impeachment as he believes impeaching Trump will make it easier to get rid of him in the Republican Party. The GOP leadership said they are not going to urge members not vote against impeachment.
It thus signals that Trump, who was impeached by the House but reinstated by the Senate last year, may be convicted this time. However, with little time left for him in office, barring him from holding public office will be a task to consider when he’s left office.