WASHINGTON – House Democrats took their first major steps toward trying to remove President Trump from Monday Tuesday and voted to urge Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to take the presidency out of Trump’s hands. Just a Republican, rep. Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, voted with Democrats.
The vote comes after House President Nancy Pelosi issued an ultimatum to Pence earlier this week in response to the violent insurgency that resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer. Pelosi asked Pence to invoke section four of the 25th Amendment otherwise Parliament would proceed to accuse Trump for the second time. This section, which has never been invoked in American history, allows the vice president and a majority in the cabinet to remove a president from office if they believe he is no longer fit to serve; The President can then appeal this decision to Congress.
“Removing the president is an unprecedented act, but it is absolutely necessary because of the unprecedented dangers he poses,”
The resolution adopted by Parliament 223-205 is a request and is not binding. Before the vote, however, Pence announced that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment.
Pence dismissed the decision as a “political game”, saying the provisions of Amendment 25 were only designed for cases where the president was considered mentally incapacitated. “Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. To invoke the 25th Amendment in such a way would set a terrible precedent, ”Pence wrote in a letter to Pelosi.
Pelosi’s next step will be to initiate prosecution; she named the leaders who will make the case against Trump during a lawsuit in the Senate Tuesday night. There is enough support in Parliament to accuse the president of overwhelming support from Democrats. Four Republicans – Rep. John Katko, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Fred Upton – have already said they will vote for indictment.
But that is only the first half of the process. Two-thirds of the Senate must vote to convict Trump that he should be removed from office or have consequences such as To be prevented from serving as president again. Conviction would require the support of about a third of Republican senators. A year ago, Parliament voted to accuse Trump, but the Senate acquitted him. Senator Mitt Romney was the lone Republican who voted to judge. No president has ever been charged twice.
But there are signs that this time may be different. Republicans have expressed unprecedented levels of anger over Trump over the siege of the Capitol. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said privately that Trump committed illegal offenses.
It is unlikely that a Senate trial would be completed before Trump leaves office, meaning it would play out during the first days of Joe Biden’s presidency.
Several Republicans spoke out against the decision, saying Democrats perverted the constitution and divided the country. Rep. Tom McClintock called it “a grotesque abuse of the 25th Amendment” while wearing a mask with the words “This mask is useless.”
Democrats argued that Trump is a clear and present danger that can encourage and encourage further revolt against his election loss. “He lives in an alternative reality. He is a persistent threat to America,” the rep said. Zoe Lofgren.
The house’s decision, which was adopted on Tuesday, reads in part, “[T]his rebellious mob threatened the security and lives of the vice president, the house president and the president’s tempo pace for the senate, the first three people in the order of the presidency when the rebels were recorded and sang “Hang Mike Pence” and “Where’s Nancy” when president “Donald J. Trump tweeted to his supporters that ‘Mike Pence did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country’ after the Capitol was overrun and the Vice President was in hiding.”
The resolution goes on to say that Trump has “repeatedly, continuously and spectacularly demonstrated his absolute inability to perform the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office”, including respect for election results and a peaceful transfer of power, the duty to protect legislators and their constituents and “generally the duty to ensure that the laws are carried out faithfully.”
It calls on Pence and the Cabinet to “declare what is obvious to a terrified nation: that the president is incapable of successfully carrying out his duties and powers.”
The resolution was drafted by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and was put to a full vote Tuesday after Republicans opposed sending it through what is known as “unanimous consent” – meaning it goes without a full vote if no member protests – the day before.
The Republican rep. West Virginia’s Alex Mooney protested Monday, forcing Tuesday’s vote on the floor. Mooney said in a statement, “The U.S. House must never pass a resolution requiring the removal of a duly elected president without hearings, debates or recorded votes.”
In a release on Sunday, Pelosi said she would give Pence 24 hours to invoke the 25th Amendment following the adoption of the resolution, otherwise Parliament would proceed to accuse Trump. House Democrats have already circulated an article on persecution accusing Trump of “inciting rebellion” and have secured the votes to accuse the president for the second time.
Pelosi announced Tuesday that Rep. Jamie Raskin will serve as the lead prosecutor to sue Trump during a Senate trial. The other prosecutors will be: Rep. Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plaskett, Joe Neguse and Madeleine Dean.
Trump was first charged by the House in 2019 and charged with two counts, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, after he requested interference in the 2020 election by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump was the third president in American history to be charged and is set to be the first ever to be charged twice.
Prosecutors are expected Wednesday, as Pence has not indicated he plans to invoke the 25th Amendment.