House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team discussed their options Thursday night (local time) and the overwhelming sentiment was that impeachment was the way to go, according to multiple sources.
While some dissidents were concerned that the move could be perceived as overreaching and discourage Trump supporters in their districts, the view of most leading Democrats, including Pelosi, is that Trump should be held accountable for his actions.
This process is not going to be like the one in 2019. It would be quick: no investigations and no week-long hearings. The most likely scenario is that a member brings a privileged resolution to the floor of the Chamber and offers it during the session.
This requires Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, to bring members back, which people hope will be announced sometime after the caucus call at 12 p.m. ET.
Once they do, the voting process begins in a matter of days. A simple majority is enough to impeach the president.
If they do this, Trump would be the first president to be indicted twice.
That wouldn’t mean he would be removed from office, which would require the Senate to vote to do so.
Aides to the House Judiciary Committee are consulting with the authors of one of the Democratic impeachment resolutions, Representatives David Cicilline, Jamie Raskin and Ted Lieu, to prepare to move quickly toward a possible impeachment vote in the Chamber next week, according to three sources.
Attendees are helping edit and adjust the impeachment resolution, the sources said, which includes an impeachment article for abuse of power, accusing Trump of inciting the uprising on Capitol Hill.
The impeachment resolution filed Thursday also includes Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, but some moderate members are urging that impeachment be kept as smooth as possible to keep the focus on Wednesday’s events. .
This is moving fast. The members were not at this location two days ago.
The events of Wednesday, the images that have been played on television screens, the accounts of what happened throughout the Capitol complex and the president’s approach to all this before and after have culminated in members feeling that something has what to happen now. Pelosi said in her press Thursday, members have been texting her nonstop “accuse, accuse.”
Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, Assistant to the Speaker of the House, told CNN’s John Berman on New day on Friday they could bring articles of impeachment to the courtroom “in the middle of next week.” Later, he tweeted that Democrats were “actively working” to find the fastest timeline for a vote.
This is not just Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and liberals calling for impeachment. There were notable remarks Thursday from Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan moderate who didn’t vote for Pelosi as a speaker less than a week ago, who pushed to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger also issued a statement pushing for the 25th Amendment, but then said, “If the vice president does not act, it will be necessary for all members of Congress bound by our constitutional oaths to take additional action. Refuse to respond to a president of the United States who incites an uprising against our democracy, we run the risk of losing it forever. “
More than 60 Democrats, led by Representatives Dean Phillips of Minnesota, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, sent a letter to Democratic leaders Friday asking them to come together and work to impeach Trump after the Capitol violation. Wednesday.
Capitol fenced off after a day of chaos
“We write to respectfully request that the House reconvene immediately to take into account the assault on our democracy that we experienced on January 6,” the Democrats wrote. “We could address the question of whether President Trump should be censured or indicted for encouraging a violent attack against the United States Congress, as well as Representative Raskin’s proposal that Congress appoint a body, as provided by Amendment 25 , to determine if the President is qualified to carry out the powers and duties of his office.
House Intelligence Speaker Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who led the House impeachment inquiry against Trump in 2019 for his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate President-elect Joe Biden in the early stages of the 2020 campaign, he said in a statement Friday that he supported impeachment of Trump. through Amendment 25 or impeachment.
“Every day you remain in office is a danger to the Republic and you must leave office immediately, through resignation, the 25th Amendment or impeachment,” said Schiff.
What would happen in the Senate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not commented on this. But given that the House would likely pass this with just a few days in the Trump presidency, McConnell is likely simply running out of time.
The Republican Party is frustrated, exasperated by Trump right now. CNN reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had a shouting match Wednesday with Trump as rioters stormed the Capitol. But McConnell likes to avoid fights within the party and forcing members to vote on impeachment with only a few days left in Trump’s presidency would not be a good way to keep its members together.
Sen. Ben Sasse, the Nebraska Republican who was an early critic of Trump’s election fraud rhetoric, told CBS Morning News that he would consider any House impeachment articles.
“The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider any items that they can move because, as I told you, I think the President has disregarded his oath of office,” Sasse said Friday.