UPDATE 1/9/21 (3pm)
- Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) announced via Twitter that he will join Reps. David Cicilline (D-CT) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) plus over 180 cosponsors in introducing an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump when the House holds a pro forma session Monday. The article of impeachment will be for "inciting an insurrection at the Capitol."
- At this point, Monday's pro forma session isn't expected to feature any official debate on the article of impeachment, which will have to be marked up (ie prepared for floor consideration) by the House Rules Committee. The Rules Committee will likely meet on Tuesday or Wednesday, which would allow for floor consideration of the article of impeachment either the same day or the following day as the hearing.
What’s the story?
- After an “hours-long conversation” with the Democratic Caucus on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement urging President Donald Trump to resign, and warned that the House take up legislation aimed at removing him from office before his term ends with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20th:
"It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign. But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment. Accordingly, the House will preserve every option ― including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment. With great respect, our deliberations will continue.”
- Rep. Jamie Raskin's bill (D-MD) would tap into unused authority under the 25th Amendment to establish a commission on presidential capacity for the purpose of examining the president’s ability to carry out his duties. If the commission and vice president concur the president is incapacitated, the vice president would serve as acting president.
- The House could vote on the impeachment articles and the Raskin bill fairly quickly after they’re introduced, potentially the same day they’re reported from the Rules Committee.
- Given that Pelosi hasn’t called the House into session over the weekend and that the House may not vote on either the impeachment articles or the Raskin bill until late next week, it’s doubtful either will clear the Senate prior to Inauguration Day.
- If the House voted for impeachment, Trump would become the first president to be impeached twice, but a trial and conviction by the Senate would still be required, and a trial likely can’t begin until Trump's term has expired. However, the Senate could still convict Trump with a two-thirds vote, and bar him from holding public office with a majority vote if the trial concludes after his term ends.
- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) criticized the effort to impeach the president as having the effect of further deepening divisions in the country:
“Our country is not just divided. We are deeply hurt. The task ahead for the next Congress and incoming Biden Administration couldn’t be more momentous. But to deliver a better America for all, partisans of all stripes first must unite as Americans and show our country that a peaceful transition of power has occurred. Impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more. I have reached out to President-elect Biden today and plan to speak to him about how we must work together to lower the temperature and unite the country to solve America’s challenges.”
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: gcas2018 via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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