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House Democrats introduce impeachment resolution, citing ‘incitement of insurrection’

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are expected to speak by phone with White House officials throughout the weekend as they continue to negotiations about extending unemployment benefits amidst the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

    (CNN) — House Democrats formally introduced their resolution to impeach President Donald Trump on Monday, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in last week’s violence at the US Capitol.

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The impeachment resolution that the House is poised to vote on later this week is the Democrats’ first step toward making Mr. Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice.

LIVE UPDATES: House pushes for Trump’s removal after deadly Capitol riot

The single impeachment article, which was introduced when the House gaveled into a brief pro-forma session Monday, points to President Trump’s repeated false claims that he won the election and his speech to the crowd on January 6 before pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol. It also cited Mr. Trump’s call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where the President urged him to “find” enough votes for President Trump to win the state.

“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the resolution says. “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 resolution also cited the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, noting that it “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from holding office.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats on Sunday evening that the House would proceed with bringing an impeachment resolution to the floor this week unless Vice President Mike Pence moves to invoke the 25th Amendment with a majority of the Cabinet to remove Mr. Trump from power.

Pelosi’s letter was the first time she explicitly said that the House would take up impeachment on the floor this week, though it was clear that House Democrats have rapidly coalesced around an impeachment resolution in the days following the riots at the Capitol where five people died, including a US Capitol Police officer.

Democrats on Monday sought to take up a resolution from Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland on Monday urging Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer asked for unanimous consent to bring up the resolution, but West Virginia GOP Rep. Alex Mooney objected to the request. Pelosi has said the Democrats will move to bring the resolution for a floor vote on Tuesday.

Democrats are calling on Pence to respond within 24 hours, she said. If that does not happen, Democrats will bring their impeachment resolution to the floor.

Timing of an impeachment vote is still fluid, though the expectation is it would happen on Wednesday or Thursday.

The impeachment resolution was introduced by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Raskin and Ted Lieu of California.

Cicilline tweeted Sunday evening that the resolution now has more than 200 co-sponsors, nearly all of the Democratic caucus. The resolution would likely go to the House Rules Committee before it’s brought to the floor.

The level of unity in the Democratic caucus is being driven by the visceral reaction to what happened on January 6, when lawmakers had to be evacuated from the House and Senate chambers with rioters banging on the doors outside as the insurrectionists tried to stop the counting of votes to affirm President-elect Joe Biden would become President on January 20.

Pelosi said in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that she liked the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment “because it gets rid of him,” but explained, “one of the motivations people have for advocating for impeachment” is to prevent President Trump from holding office again.

“There’s strong support in the Congress for impeaching the President a second time,” she said.

House Democrats are holding a caucus-wide call on Monday to discuss their path forward.

House Republicans have urged Democrats not to move forward with impeachment, arguing that such a move would be divisive in the face of Mr. Biden’s calls for unity. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is also holding a conference call with the GOP conference Monday, according to a source familiar.

Still, there’s been little to slow momentum toward impeachment since Wednesday. Two Senate Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, have called on Mr. Trump to resign in the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol.

One of the biggest issues surrounding House Democrats’ impeachment push is what it means for the opening days of the Biden administration, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he won’t call the Senate back from recess for a trial before it’s slated to reconvene on January 19, which would make the start of the trial January 20 — Mr. Biden’s inauguration.

A Senate impeachment trial would grind the chamber to a halt, unable to confirm nominees or enact legislation in the opening days of Mr. Biden’s presidency.

One option being considered is waiting until later to send the articles to the Senate: House Democratic Whip James Clyburn said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday the House might wait until after President-elect Biden’s first 100 days in office before sending the impeachment articles to the Senate to begin the trial.

This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.

The-CNN-Wire
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