Democrats will proceed with the impeachment of Donald Trump this week unless Mike Pence uses the 25th amendment to force him out of office, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Sunday night.
Pelosi made the announcement in a letter to colleagues, formulating it as an ultimatum to Pence to invoke the powers of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
If not, she said, the House would proceed with impeachment.
Trump could become the only president charged twice.
"In protecting our constitution and our democracy, we will act urgently as this president poses an imminent threat to both," she said, adding: "The horror of our president's ongoing attack on our democracy is intensifying and so on is the immediate need for action . & # 39;
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi announced 60 minutes on Sunday that she wants Donald Trump to be impeached so that he can no longer run for office in the future
Pelosi wrote to her Democratic counterparts on Sunday evening to explain the next steps
Pelosi said she would prefer Vice President Mike Pence invoking the 25th amendment "because he gets rid of him – he's out of office" amid concerns that Trump would meet the mob in his last 10 days in office could forgive
They and other Democrats also fear that the president may apologize to those who were involved in the storming of the Capitol in his final days.
Pelosi's plan calls for a vote on Monday on a resolution calling on pence and cabinet officials to invoke the 25th amendment. Under the rules, if the entire House is not called, any appeal would reject the resolution.
Pelosi would then put the resolution before the full house on Tuesday.
If it did, Pence and the cabinet would have 24 hours to act before the House moved towards impeachment.
With impeachment planning on the rise, two Republican senators said they wanted Trump to resign immediately to prevent Trump from ever holding an election again after deadly riots in the Capitol.
House Democrats were expected to launch impeachment procedures on Monday. The strategy would be to quickly condemn the president's actions but postpone an impeachment trial in the Senate for 100 days. This would allow President-elect Joe Biden to focus on other priorities once it is inaugurated on January 20th.
Jim Clyburn, the third largest House Democrat and a top ally of Biden, came up with the ideas on Sunday as the country got hold of the siege of the Capitol by Trump loyalists who tried to reverse the election results.
"Let's give President-elect Biden the 100 days it takes to get his agenda going," said Clyburn.
Trump came under increasing pressure to step down before his term ended amid alarming concerns about further unrest prior to inauguration.
The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump asked them to "fight" on his behalf
Police are trying to hold back protesters who break into a door in the Capitol on Wednesday
The mostly maskless crowd flooded the halls of the Capitol with little resistance from the Capitol Police
Capitol Police officers aim their guns at a door that was destroyed during a joint congressional session in the chamber of the house
Speaking to thousands of supporters near the White House at his "Save America" rally on Wednesday, Trump declared war on his own party by calling Republicans who opposed him "weak".
A man in a QAnon hoodie can be seen at the Capitol on Wednesday
Legislators and law enforcement agencies are using all available means to find those involved in the Capitol uprising and prosecute them – using image and video evidence
A protester fights with a riot police outside the Capitol after the 6 p.m. curfew went into effect
The president is accused of whipping the mob that stormed the Capitol, hiding lawmakers and leaving five dead.
Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania and his Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska on Sunday called on Trump to "step down and leave as soon as possible".
"I think the president has disqualified himself from ever being back in office," said Toomey. "I don't think he's eligible in any way."
Murkowski, who has long voiced her outrage over Trump's behavior in office, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply "needs to get out."
A third Republican, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, didn't go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be "very cautious" in his final days in office.
Corporate America began tying its response to the Capitol unrest by tying it to campaign posts.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association CEO and President Kim Keck said this will not add to lawmakers – all Republicans – who support the challenges to Biden's electoral college victory.
The group "will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy," said Kim.
Citigroup did not single out the lawmakers that were in line with Trump's efforts to overthrow the elections, but said they would pause all federal political donations for the first three months of the year. Candi Wolff, head of global government affairs at Citi, said in a memo to staff on Friday: "We want you to be sure that we are not sponsoring candidates who do not respect the rule of law."
Lisa Murkowski, Senator for Alaska, has said she was considering leaving Republicans
Murkowski said Trump should resign, saying he did enough damage
The mob overran the Capitol Police shortly after Trump asked them to "fight" on his behalf
Trump supporters, encouraged by the president himself, stormed the Capitol on Wednesday
The house leaders, enraged after the uprising, seem determined to take action against Trump despite the short period of time.
Mike Pence "hasn't ruled out the 25th amendment"
According to CNN, Mike Pence and Donald Trump have not spoken since Wednesday's uprising. During this time, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Senate, looking for pence and threatening to "hang" him.
Annoyed by Pence telling him he could not constitutionally overturn the election, Trump hit his vice president on Wednesday, telling supporters, "Mike Pence has to come through for us. If he doesn't, it will be a sad day for our country. & # 39; He later tweeted, "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution."
Pence finally "got a glimpse into POTUS 'vengeance," a source told CNN.
It's the first time the normally loyal pence has broken publicly with the president.
CNN said Pence hasn't ruled out the 25th amendment.
Invoking the 25th amendment would require Pence and a majority in the cabinet to vote to remove Trump from office as he is unable to "perform the powers and duties of office" – an unprecedented move.
On Thursday, sources close to the vice president said it was "highly unlikely" that Pence would attempt to invoke the 25th amendment. However, he hasn't ruled it out.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said an impeachment trial could not begin before the date of inauguration on the current calendar.
While many have criticized Trump, Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive at a time of unity.
Senator Marco Rubio said that instead of meeting, Democrats "want to talk about ridiculous things like" let's indict a president "with only a few days left in office.
Still, some Republicans could be supportive.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse said he would look at all of the items the house sent. Illinois MP Adam Kinzinger, a frequent Trump critic, said he would "go the right way" if the matter were brought before him.
Democratic efforts to label Trump's presidential record with the indelible mark of impeachment had advanced rapidly since the uprising.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., A chairman of the House who sought to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of instigating riots, said on Sunday his group had more than 200 co-sponsors.
The articles, if passed by the House of Representatives, could be submitted to the Senate for trial, with Senators serving as a juror to acquit or convict Trump.
If convicted, Trump would be removed from office and replaced by the vice president.
It would be the first time a US president has been charged twice.
Compromising Pelosi's impeachment decision marked the start of Biden's presidency. While reiterating that he had long considered Trump unsuitable for office, Biden avoided an impeachment question Friday, saying what Congress did was make them decide.
While some Democrats are pushing for impeachment, the House spokeswoman said in an interview broadcast on Sunday night for "60 Minutes" that she prefers to invoke the 25th amendment because Trump will be removed from office immediately .
"Chances are that after all of this there will be no punishment or consequence and he could run for president again," CBS 'Lesley Stahl told Pelosi in a clip released before the full interview was aired .
"And that's one of the motivations people have to push for impeachment," said Pelosi.
However, she is concerned that if Trump is not booted from the White House, he will use his last 10 days in office to apologize for the part of the mob that descended on the Capitol on Wednesday – or even himself and other allies.
"I like the 25th amendment because it gets rid of it – he's out of office," said Pelosi. "But there is strong support in Congress for the second indictment against the president."
"What if he forgives himself?" Asked Stahl.
"What if these people who are terrorists on the Capitol are excused?" Pelosi shot back.
Congress is trying to prosecute or punish anyone involved in the Capitol riot – and has already found some prominently depicted.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that half of the members of the House were at risk of death during the riots.
"Perhaps my colleagues were not fully present at the events on Wednesday, but we got almost halfway through the house on Wednesday, which almost died," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Sunday of the pro-Trump mob that was on the Capitol descended
House majority whip Jim Clyburn said Sunday Democrats will vote on impeachment this week but said the party may wait until after Joe Biden's first 100 days in office to get the articles to the Senate
WHAT DOES THE 25TH AMENDMENT SAY? CAN TRUMPS CABINET REALLY POT HIM?
The The 25th amendment to the US Constitution deals with the authority of the president in the event of death or impeachment and was ratified in 1967 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
What does the 25th amendment say?
It consists of four sections, all of which deal with the President leaving office during his elected term.
The first section says that if the president dies, or resigns or is removed, the vice president will take over the oval office, which was not clearly stated in the original constitution.
Presidents can of course be removed from office by impeachment, a feature of the Constitution from the start. They can also be removed by the 25th amendment – of which below.
Section II states that both the House and Senate must approve a new Vice President if the Vice President dies, or resigns, or is dismissed. Until 1967, the presidents could change vice-presidents themselves in the medium term if they asked the vice-president to resign – not something that actually happened, but was possible in principle.
Section III clarifies that a president can temporarily delegate his or her powers to the vice-president and later reclaim them when he or she is able to serve. This is most commonly invoked when a president is under the influence of a surgical anesthetic for a short period of time.
Section IV is the most controversial part of the amendment: it describes how the President can be removed from office if he is incapacitated and does not leave alone.
The vice president and "a majority of officers in the executive departments or any other body that Congress may provide" must write to both presidents per tempo of the Senate and the President of the House, saying, "The President is unable to perform the powers and duties of his office."
The term chief officers of the executive departments would normally mean the cabinet secretaries.
At least eight of the President's 15 highest cabinet members must therefore agree with the Vice-President that a President should be removed before a plan can be implemented.
Notification of the President of Parliament and the President of the Senate per tempo is the act that immediately elevates the Vice President to the role of "Acting President".
The deposed president can contest the claim and give the leaders of the bloodless coup four days to re-assert their claims against the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Congress then has two days to convene – if it is not already in session – and another 21 days to vote on whether the president is unable to serve. A two-thirds majority in both houses is required for this decision.
As soon as a two-thirds majority vote takes place, the President loses his powers and is removed. The vice president ceases to act and is sworn in as president.
However, if 21 days of debate and voting end without a two-thirds majority, the President regains his powers.
What could happen to trigger the 25th Amendment?
Vice President Mike Pence and eight of the 15 "key" cabinet members would have to agree to tell Congress that President Donald Trump is unable to run the country.
This group consists of the Foreign Minister, the Treasury Secretary, the Defense Minister, the Attorney General, the Home Secretary, the Agriculture Minister, the Trade Minister, the Labor Minister, the Secretary for Health and Human Services, the Transport Minister, the Energy Minister, the Education Minister, and the Veterans Affairs Secretary and Homeland Security Minister .
Your formal notification would go to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and in the Senate to the "President pro Tempore," the highest member of the Senate. Once the letter is mailed, Pence becomes the "acting president".
Alternatively, Congress could set up its own mechanism to decide whether it is fit for office – possibly a commission or a joint committee. Pence would still have to agree with his conclusion and then formally write pro tempore to the spokesman and president.
Or another possibility is that the pool of "chief officers" is seen as larger than 15 and a majority of that group is calling Trump incompetent.
What if Trump disagrees?
If Trump claims he is fit to take office, he would write to the House Speaker and the Senate President within four days and initiate an intense three-week debate in both Houses of Congress.
Trump would be removed from office if both two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate were to agree with Pence and his cabal.
If either chamber failed to hit that mark, Trump would retain his powers and likely embark on a full house cleaning, firing pence and replacing disloyal cabinet members.
Are there any gaps?
The 25th amendment allows Congress to designate its own body to evaluate the president, rather than relying on the cabinet – the men and women who work most closely with Trump – to decide how to proceed.
It states that "another body as Congress requires" could play that role, but Pence would still have to agree to any finding that the president is incapable of performing his duties.
This commission could, hypothetically, include anyone from presidential historians to psychiatrists charged with assessing the presidential authority.
Another loophole is that it does not state that the cabinet has to agree, but that the "chief officials" of the departments are needed. This term is not defined in the constitution. In some departments, the legislation appears to designate not only the secretary but also the MPs and even the under-secretaries as "chief officers" so that many more people could be involved in assessing Trump's fitness.
But Trump's cabinet has a lot of "acting" cabinet officials – and it is unclear if that is why they could participate in removing him.
Could Trump Fire Pence If He Rebels?
Yes, in principle. If Trump smelled a hint of anger – if pence and a cabal of cabinet members, or pence and a jury assembled by Congress seemed ready to judge him incapacitated – he could fire his vice president with the stroke of a pen to stop the process.
However, installing a more loyal vice president could be problematic as the 25th Amendment includes its own poison pill: both Houses of Congress must vote to approve a new vice president.
That means Trump would run against the same Congress that would vote on his eligibility for office, unless the process unfolded in the weeks leading up to a new Congress.
In theory, a democratically controlled Congress could make life dramatically more difficult for the president if he came to power in the middle of the constitutional crisis.
One scenario seems to surprise the President's historians, however: Firing pence before the trial begins, and then vacating the vice presidency would not provide Congress with a practical way forward. That would represent a constitutional crisis of its own.
Is there a precedent for this?
No. Only Section III, the voluntary transfer of powers to the President, has ever been used, and for a very brief period.
In December 1978, President Jimmy Carter considered using Section III when he was considering surgery to remove hemorrhoids.
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both voluntarily gave up their powers while under anesthesia.
Section IV was also never invoked, although it was alleged that Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff Donald Regan had advised his successor, Howard Baker, in 1987 that he should be willing to invoke it because Reagan was inattentive and inept.
The PBS documentary & # 39; American Experience & # 39; tells how Baker and his team watched Reagan closely for signs of incompetence when they first met, and found that he was in perfect control of himself.
"If another head of state came in and ordered an attack on the United States Congress, would we say it shouldn't be prosecuted?" Would we say there should be absolutely no answer to that? & # 39; The New York Congresswoman told ABC host George Stephanopoulos.
"No," said Ocasio-Cortez. & # 39; It's an act of insurrection. It's an act of hostility. And we have to be accountable, because without them it will happen again.
"Perhaps my colleagues weren't fully present at the events on Wednesday, but we got almost halfway through the house that almost died on Wednesday," she said.
Hakeem Jeffries, a New York representative, agreed with AOC's points in an interview with NBC on Sunday, claiming, "Donald Trump poses a clear and present threat to the health and safety of the American people and our democracy."
The representative and the handful of members of her progressive "squad" are fully on board and plan to indict President Trump again.
Clyburn said Sunday that articles have already been drawn and that he is expecting a vote in the lower chamber the next day.
"I think that will come – probably Tuesday and maybe Wednesday, but it will happen this week," House Democrat No. 3 told Fox News Sunday when asked if the House would take action to indict Trump . "The rest of the articles have been created."
"If we are the people's house, let's do the people's job and vote to indict this President," Clyburn continued in his interview with Fox's Chris Wallace. "And then we'll decide later – or the Senate will decide later – what to do with this impeachment."
Ocasio-Cortez said Trump is still in office "every minute," a threat looms.
"I firmly believe that the impeachment should be planned for several reasons," she said on Sunday.
"Our top priority is to secure the removal of Donald Trump as President of the United States," added AOC. "Every minute and every hour he is in office poses a clear and present threat, not just to the United States Congress but, frankly, to the country."
As Democrats pursue the impeachment, many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling on Trump to step down at his own request to keep Congress from intervening.
Legislators were forced to vacate House and Senate chambers and accommodations in offices or other locations on Wednesday after thousands of Donald Trump supporters broke through the Capitol and fought through the halls
Talks are also underway about banning Trump from becoming president again in the future – as speculation mounts, he will go for another run for the White House in 2024.
"In addition to the distance, we are also talking about the complete blocking of the president – or rather Donald Trump, who runs for office time and again," Ocasio-Cortez told ABC.
"And beyond that, the potential ability to prevent him from being pardoned on the charges for which he was charged."
Jeffries also wants to take immediate action against Trump and expresses concern that the president still has "access to the nuclear codes".
& # 39; The current goal is to address the existential threat Donald Trump currently poses. Every second, every minute, every hour that Donald Trump remains in office poses a threat to the American people, "said the representative of the Democrats on Sunday in an interview on" Meet the Press ".
"You know, Donald Trump may be in the Twitter box, but he still has access to the nuclear codes," Jeffries said, referring to Trump's permanent ban on Twitter.
"It's a scary prospect."
He added, "Donald Trump is completely out of control and even his longtime enablers have now come to that conclusion."
However, Clyburn said Sunday that House Democrats are weighing whether to send impeachment proceedings to the Senate until after Joe Biden's first 100 days in office.
That way, the Democrats would allow the new president to appoint key members of his team and would have a new 50:50 Senate to work with.