On Monday, House Democrats formally introduced an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for "inciting violence against the government of the United States," officially beginning the process of impeaching the president in the aftermath of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.
The House met in a pro forma session on Monday, where they also accepted the resignation of House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving following last week's insurrection.
During the session, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer asked for unanimous consent to approve a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. Republican Rep. Alex Mooney of West Virginia objected, blocking the resolution's approval. The House will likely vote on the resolution Tuesday instead.
In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned House Republicans for blocking the measure.
“The House Republicans rejected this legislation to protect America, enabling the President’s unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue," Pelosi said. "Their complicity endangers America, erodes our Democracy, and it must end."
She further pledged a vote on the 25th Amendment resolution, urging Vice President Pence to take action within 24 hours.
“As our next step, we will move forward with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor," she concluded. "The President’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action.”
On a Democratic caucus call Monday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told members that an impeachment vote will likely be Wednesday, but told House members to prepare to return to Washington for a vote Tuesday on a resolution to implore Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.
An early draft of the impeachment article was first shared with Spectrum News last week.
The resolution states that the president "engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States.”
The measure details the president’s speech to supporters on Wednesday, shortly before they overwhelmed police at the U.S. Capitol nearby.
It says that the president "willfully made statements that encouraged … imminent lawless action" and that he "gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government."
The House of Representatives could vote on whether to impeach the president as soon as Wednesday. But even if the House impeaches, it’s unlikely that a Senate trial would come together quickly enough for any real action against the president before his term ends.
In the meantime, House Speaker Pelosi is asking Pence to take action before an impeachment process begins.
"We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours," she wrote Sunday night. "Next, we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the floor."
On Sunday, GOP Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania became the second Republican senator to call on the president to resign. He joined Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who told a local newspaper Friday that she would like to see Trump step down.
"I want him out. He has caused enough damage," she told the Anchorage Daily News in an interview.
The Democrats’ impeachment measure, drafted by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), calls for Trump’s removal from office and his disqualification to hold any future public office.
"President Trump … has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office," part of the final paragraph reads.
But it’s unlikely the president will be removed from office, given the little time left for a Senate impeachment trial and doubts over whether Republicans would move for a conviction.
A White House spokesman responded to the impeachment effort in a statement Friday, calling this "a time for healing and unity as one Nation."
"A politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country," Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said.
Trump would make history as the only president to ever be impeached twice.