CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. House of Representatives will consider two resolutions this week aimed at removing President Donald Trump from office, with the first vote scheduled for Tuesday.
The measures stem from last week’s violent demonstration at the U.S. Capitol, in which a pro-Trump mob stormed the building and delayed lawmakers from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
House Democrats, in addition to a few Republicans, have voiced support for removing Trump from office because of last week’s violence.
Legislators on Tuesday will consider a resolution requesting Vice President Mike Pence call up the Cabinet for removing Trump by invoking their power under the 25th Amendment. A majority of Cabinet members would have to support the decision.
Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against the president, in which the legislators say Trump incited the insurrection by pushing unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud.
Trump spoke at a rally near the White House before the violence at the Capitol, telling thousands of people, “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
The bill also cites Trump’s attempts to pressure Georgia officials in hopes of overturning the state’s presidential election results.
“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the resolution states. “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 House is expected to consider the impeachment legislation Wednesday.
“The President’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement.
Legislators were supposed to be in their districts working this week, but Democratic leaders called lawmakers back to Washington, D.C. for voting.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., offered the first resolution late Monday morning, asking the bill be passed on unanimous consent. If a lawmaker does not object to unanimous consent, the bill in question passes.
Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., objected to the motion with some Republican colleagues standing nearby.
“Speaker Pelosi should not attempt to adopt a resolution of this magnitude without any debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives,” Mooney said in a statement afterward.
“It is wrong to have sent members of Congress home and then try to adopt without any debate a precedent-setting resolution that could imperil our Republic. The U.S. House must never adopt a resolution that demands the removal of a duly elected president, without any hearings, debate or recorded votes.”
Pelosi said Monday that Pence will have 24 hours to respond to the bill. Afterward, the chamber will consider impeachment proceedings.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., opposes moving forward with impeachment; McCarthy sent a letter to Republican colleagues Monday stating impeachment would further divide the country. He mentioned possible alternative actions, including censure, a commission to study the attack and legislation to “promote voter confidence in future federal elections.”
Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., argued last week against removing Trump from office, saying Congress should instead unite and prepare for the incoming administration.
“This just feeds into it, so no, I don’t support that, the congressman said during Friday’s “MetroNews Talkline.”
“I hope that we can just let things calm down as quickly as we can because he is going out of office.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” while Trump should be impeached, the Senate likely will not receive the charges until Jan. 19, the day before Biden takes office.
“That basically stops us from putting a government together,” Manchin said.
The senator added Trump and others should face consequences for inciting the violence.
“You’ve got two paths: You’ve got a political path, and you have a judicial path. I think the judicial path can be the one that can give us the best results that can stop this kind of silliness within politics. This dangerous, insidious type of speech that you have,” Manchin said. “People have to understand that your words have consequences, and we’ve seen it at the most dangerous level.”
Republican Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said over the weekend Trump should resign; Toomey told CNN he believes Trump committed impeachable acts but shared doubts about if removing the president would be the best action.
The House in December 2019 approved two articles of impeachment against Trump related to a phone call between the president and Ukraine’s leader. West Virginia’s representatives opposed the impeachment resolutions. The Senate acquitted the president of both charges.