An increasingly isolated and angry President Donald Trump, cut off by Twitter in the waning days of his term, faces a renewed drive by Democrats to remove him from office after he incited his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol.
A copy of draft articles of impeachment circulating among members of the U.S. Congress late Friday (January 8) charged Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in a bid to overturn his loss to Biden.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that if Trump did not resign, she had instructed the House Rules Committee to move ahead with a motion for impeachment and legislation on the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which provides for removal of a president who is unable to discharge his official duties.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell sent a memo to Republican senators detailing a possible timetable for an impeachment trial. He noted the Senate will hold its next work session on Jan. 19 and needs the consent of all 100 senators to convene sooner – meaning a trial would not begin until Trump was out of office, a source familiar with the document said.
“Impeaching President Donald Trump with 12 days remaining in his presidency would only serve to further divide the country,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Thursday and Friday found 57% of Americans want Trump to be removed immediately from office following the violence.
It is unclear whether lawmakers would be able to remove Trump from office, as any impeachment would prompt a trial in the Senate, where his fellow Republicans still hold power and two-thirds of the 100 members must vote to convict for his removal.
The House impeached Trump in December 2019 for pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden, but the Senate acquitted him in February 2020.