House Democrats Move Forward With Article Of Impeachment Against Trump

In the days before President-Elect Joe Biden takes office, the United States faces one of its most difficult historical periods.

While we still weather the enduring dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic turmoil that has come with it, AP News reported that the FBI has warned that both Washington D.C. and state capitols throughout the nation could potentially face armed action from Trump loyalists in the days leading up to Biden's inauguration.

As this is going on, Democrats in the House of Representatives are seeking multiple avenues in removing President Donald Trump from office for his alleged encouragement of the attack on the U.S. Capitol that took place on Wednesday.

For the first time in American history, a sitting U.S. president is likely to face his second impeachment.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Democratic Representatives David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, and Jamie Raskin of Maryland introduced an article of impeachment on January 11 against President Trump that carries only one charge: incitement of an insurrection.

Although Trump's term elapses in a little over a week, impeachment would carry the potential of disqualifying him from future public office even if he's convicted after he leaves office. However, disqualification from holding elected office in the future requires a separate vote in the Senate.

Following a call to return to Washington by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure as early as Wednesday.

As AP News reported, the impeachment article asserts that "President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government" and that "He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office."

With 213 Democratic representatives co-sponsoring the article and more pledging to vote for it — as per The Los Angeles Times — the House is expected to secure enough votes to impeach Trump.

At the same time, House Democrats have also imposed a resolution calling for Vice President Mike Pence to remove Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

And although The Los Angeles Times reported that House Republicans blocked this resolution, it will nonetheless be subject to a vote on the evening of January 12.

However, this avenue of removing Trump from office is unlikely to come to fruition as NPR reported that Pence has shown little interest in making use of the 25th Amendment.

This became especially clear when both Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer called Pence with regards to this option only to receive no answer after being left on hold for 25 minutes.

As for impeachment, the outlook on the success of this measure remains unclear.

Although AP News noted that certain Republican senators, like Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have expressed desires to see Trump go, Trump's allies in the Senate have suggested that impeachment would further divide the country.

With regards to attempts to block Democrat measures to remove Trump from office, Pelosi had stated that they serve to enable Trump's "unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue." As she added, "Their complicity endangers America, erodes our Democracy, and it must end."

But whatever the outcome of Trump's second Senate trial turns out to be, it will likely be a while before we ever see it.

According to NPR, the Senate will be adjourned until January 19, a day before Biden takes office.

As The Los Angeles Times reported, however, there is a possibility that Schumer can make use of an emergency rule adopted after 9/11 to reopen the Senate. That said, this rule requires the approval of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is unlikely to go along with the idea.

Another issue that arises from the timing of this impeachment article concerns its possibility to interfere with the confirmation of Biden's cabinet nominations.

As NPR explained, this would leave Biden taking office without secretaries of defense, state, and homeland security, to name a few.

Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina proposed delaying the Senate trial by 100 days to address this issue but The Los Angeles Times reported that this was strongly opposed by other Democrats and Biden himself walked back from it on Monday.

Instead, Biden and congressional leaders discussed a proposal to split the Senate's daily business into halves so they could focus on impeachment, Biden's picks, and a COVID-19 relief package in roughly the same time frame.

And so the Senate's impeachment trial becomes yet another matter that remains up in the air in the waning days of the Trump administration.

h/t: AP News, The Los Angeles Times, NPR

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