House Democrats formally introduced one article of impeachment against President Trump on Monday. The four-page bill charges the president with “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.
The article was introduced by Representatives David Cicilline, D-R.I., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
“The Article of Impeachment: Incitement to Insurrection, drafted by Rep. @davidcicilline, @RepRaskin, me & @HouseJudiciary staff, has now been formally introduced at the House pro forma session today,” Rep. Lieu tweeted on Monday morning.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the resolution later this week. If the article is approved, President Trump would become the first president of the United States in history to be impeached twice.
The resolution for “impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors” alleges that the president “incited violence against the government of the United States.”
The article of impeachment charges in part:
“In the months preceding the joint session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by state or federal officials.
“Shortly before the joint session commenced, President Trump addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that ‘we won this election, and we won it in a landslide.’ He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged – and foreseeably resulted in – lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.’
“Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed… unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”
The article also cites the president’s call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger alleging that he asked the secretary to “find” him enough votes to flip Georgia’s presidential election.
It concludes, “Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office… Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
A memo written by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to his Senate colleagues laid out the likely process for how the Senate would proceed should the House impeach the president during his final days in office.
It raises questions as to the motive of a second impeachment in the House, since the Senate would not be able to consider the resolution until after President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
According to The Hill, the memo said that, “The Senate trial would… begin after President Trump’s term has expired – either one hour after its expiration on Jan. 20, or twenty-five hours after its expiration on Jan. 21.”
No president has ever been impeached after he has left office, since the purpose of impeachment is primarily to consider removing the sitting president from power.
Some Senate Republicans have expressed an openness to a second impeachment.
“If they [the House] come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because as I told you I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office,” Senator Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said in a recent interview.
Yet, 17 Republican Senators would have to go along with all Senate Democrats (including the two Independents who caucus with the Democrats) if the president were to be convicted and removed from office prior to his term expiring at noon on January 20. It takes the support of 67 Senators for a president to be convicted in the U.S. Senate.
A group of Republicans in the House, however, have asked President-Elect Biden to discourage Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from pursuing impeachment.
“In the spirit of healing and fidelity to our Constitution, we ask that you formally request that Speaker Nancy Pelosi discontinue her efforts to impeach President Donald J. Trump a second time,” they wrote to Biden.
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