Democrats and Republicans are now trying to impeach President Trump after his disgraceful conduct regarding the Capitol Building. What are your thoughts? Is the impeachment worth it with only 8 days left?
House Democrats said they plan to vote on impeaching President Trump on Wednesday, accusing him of inciting supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol, as Congress careened toward a fresh showdown over Mr. Trump’s behavior in the final days of the administration.
House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment on Monday morning and said they would move ahead regardless of tepid Republican support. While some Republicans have condemned the president for encouraging his supporters to march to the Capitol as lawmakers were voting to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, only a handful have expressed support for removing him from office through impeachment or other means.
Democrats would need a majority vote in the House to impeach the president, and a two-thirds supermajority in the Senate to convict. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has said there would be no time to conduct a trial and vote in the Senate before Inauguration Day, likely leaving the matter to the incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.).
The Senate can hold a trial for Mr. Trump even after his presidency ends, which some lawmakers see as justified in both condemning Mr. Trump’s actions and potentially banning Mr. Trump from running again.
The impeachment plans were laid amid mounting security concerns in the capital. The National Guard said it would bolster its presence in the city by at least 10,000 in advance of next week’s inauguration. On Wednesday, rioters forced their way into the Capitol, threatening lawmakers and disrupting a joint session of Congress to confirm Mr. Biden’s win. A rioter and a police officer were killed and three others died of medical emergencies.
On Tuesday, Democrats plan to reconvene the full House for a vote on a resolution demanding that Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office. If Mr. Pence doesn’t act, Democrats will move forward with an impeachment vote Wednesday. Mr. Pence isn’t expected to move forward with a 25th Amendment process, people familiar with his thinking said.
The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, lays out the details of presidential succession in the event that a president dies or becomes ill. One section of the amendment allows for the vice president to take over the president’s duties if the vice president and the majority of the cabinet determine that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
That section of the amendment has never before been invoked. Congress would get the final say over whether the vice president can maintain the president’s powers, which would be decided by a two-thirds majority. Republicans have enough seats to block an incapacity vote in each house of Congress.
Since releasing a statement criticizing Twitter for banning his account on Friday, the president hasn’t issued any comments or appeared in public, a contrast to his typical barrage of tweets on any given weekend. On Monday, he awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), one of his top allies on Capitol Hill, in a closed-door event. In a statement, the White House praised Mr. Jordan for leading “the effort to confront the impeachment witch hunt” last year.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), a longtime ally of the president, said in an interview that he had spoken extensively to the president in recent days over how to focus on his policy achievements in his remaining days in office. He said he had urged the president to focus on his efforts to strengthen border security, his foreign policy toward China and the Middle East and his deregulation work.
Mr. Graham’s focus is on trying to stop a second round of impeachment, he said, adding he hoped Republicans could “bottle it up in the House.” He said he expects the president to serve out the remainder of his term, contrary to calls from lawmakers in both parties for him to resign.
Asked whether he had urged the president to further condemn last week’s violence in light of concerns about more violent riots around Inauguration Day, Mr. Graham said: “Sometimes less is better. None of us want to see another round of violence.” He declined to say whether the president appeared remorseful for last week’s events: “I don’t want to get into this stuff about psychoanalyzing anybody.”
Several of the president’s allies have broken with Mr. Trump since Wednesday’s riot, with some Republicans calling for him to resign and others saying they would consider supporting impeachment. Mick Mulvaney, a former congressman who served as Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff until March, said in a Fox News interview Sunday that he would seriously consider supporting impeachment if he were still a member of Congress and said lawmakers would view a second impeachment “very differently.”
The unprecedented second impeachment has gathered quick support among House Democrats, with 210 signed on to a resolution that accuses Mr. Trump of inciting an insurrection, according to a Democratic aide. A total of 222 lawmakers are in the House Democratic caucus, and it would take 217 votes to pass an impeachment measure, with 433 House seats currently filled.
Should the House pass impeachment articles and send them to the Senate, it is unlikely the president will be removed before the Jan. 20 inauguration. The Senate is set to be on recess until Jan. 19, and a Senate trial could require unanimous consent to get started before Inauguration Day. Any conviction in the Senate would require more than a dozen Republican votes.
The House could also hold on to the article of impeachment and allow the new Democratic-controlled Senate to confirm Mr. Biden’s nominees and get started on his agenda, before sending an impeachment article to the Senate for a trial.
Instead of backing impeachment, some GOP lawmakers have said that Mr. Trump should resign in his final days in office.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) on Sunday said Mr. Trump should step down. “I think the best way for our country is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible,” Mr. Toomey said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The fallout from the riot was also felt in other ways on Capitol Hill this week. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D., N.J.) said Monday she had tested positive for Covid-19 after sheltering in the Capitol during the riots with other lawmakers, several of whom she said refused to wear masks.