Articles of Impeachment seeking to remove U.S. President Donald Trump from office for “inciting an insurrection at the Capitol” has just reached 180 co-sponsors, Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu said on Twitter Saturday.
The Articles of Impeachment will be introduced on Monday during the House’s pro-forma session, he said.
Calls for Trump’s removal have been rapidly building momentum after thousands of his supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an attempt to prevent the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden’s election win.
The chaos unfolded shortly after Trump addressed a massive crowd of supporters and vowed he would “never concede” to Biden, calling on the protesters to march towards the Capitol. The president acknowledged his loss to Biden the next day.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” said Trump.
The riot left five people dead, including Capitol police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained while “physically engaging with protesters,” U.S. Capitol police said in a statement Friday.
At least 50 people are facing charges in connection with the siege so far. One man who was photographed sitting at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, and another who was photographed carrying her lectern have been arrested.
The protest has drawn stark criticism from both Democrats and Republicans alike, including from U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, who called the siege a “dark day” for the country, South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham and Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said Trump “needs to get out.”
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This will be the second time the Republican president faces impeachment. In December 2019, Trump became the third U.S. president to have ever been impeached. The only other two sitting presidents to have been impeached are Bill Clinton, who was impeached in 1998, and Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868.
If Democrats succeed, Trump will become the first U.S. president to have ever been impeached twice.
“This unhinged president could not be more dangerous,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has urged Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and forcibly remove Trump from office if he doesn’t “immediately resign.”
In either case, Pence would assume the presidency in the days until Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
A draft of the impeachment article claims Trump “wilfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”
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However, Judd Deere, a spokesperson for Trump, said that “a politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”
Lieu, who co-wrote the Article of Impeachment alongside Democratic Reps. David Cicilline and Jamie Raskin, has also co-signed a letter to the New York State Bar asking for Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to be disbarred.
The letter referred to comments made by Giuliani at Wednesday’s ‘Save America’ rally, in which he called for a “trial by combat” to overturn the election results.
“We believe the actions of Mr. Giuliani disqualify him from being a member in good standing,” the letter said.
More to come.
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