A trio of House Democrats close to leadership on Monday introduced a single article of impeachment against President Trump, charging him with inciting a mob of his supporters to carry out a violent attack on the Capitol in a bid to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.
The article, co-authored by Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Ted Lieu (Calif.) and Jamie Raskin (Md.), states that Trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told rank-and-file Democrats on a private call Monday afternoon that the impeachment vote will be held on Wednesday.
In a speech outside the White House before Wednesday's assault, Trump falsely claimed that he had won the election and urged thousands of his fans to march to the Capitol to support his GOP allies, using phrases like “you have to show strength” and “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, died as the pro-Trump mob stormed the building to stop House and Senate lawmakers from certifying the Electoral College results. The Capitol now is the scene of a federal murder investigation.
Threats were heard against Vice President Pence and individual lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“[I]ncited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to … interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts,” the impeachment article states.
“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 transfer 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 says.
Pelosi has told Democrats they will move forward with an impeachment vote immediately if Pence and the Cabinet do not invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from power.
Upping the pressure on Pence and the Republicans, Hoyerduring Monday’s brief pro-forma session requested that Raskin’s 25th Amendment resolution be passed by unanimous consent. That resolution calls on Pence to “convene and mobilize” the Cabinet and vote to strip Trump of his powers.
But Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), a Trump ally, objected.
After the exchange, Hoyer told reporters that the full House will stage a vote on the Raskin resolution on Tuesday, then take up impeachment.
No decision has been made by Pelosi and her team about whether the House should immediately send the impeachment article to the Senate after passage. Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who is close to Biden, has pushed for the House to delay sending the article across the Capitol to give the new president more time to confirm his nominees, set up his administration and begin tackling his 100-day agenda.
But Hoyer, Cicilline and many others said the situation is too dire and urgent to delay.