United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said that the House would move forward to impeach outgoing President Donald Trump if he didn’t resign immediately, CNN reported. There have been calls for Trump’s removal because of his role in inciting the violence at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
The House Democrats are planning to move the impeachment resolution against Trump on Monday. However, a final decision on this has not been made yet.
Pelosi said the House was considering every option, including setting up a commission under the 25th Amendment to recommend Trump’s removal “It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign,” she was quoted as saying by CNN. “But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment.”
She added: “Accordingly, the House will preserve every option – including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment.”
The Democrats have prepared a four-page draft article of impeachment, NBC reported. It includes one article for the “incitement of insurrection.”
The Democrats are aware that if they go ahead with Trump’s impeachment, the Senate could be compelled to hold a trial in the initial days of President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, according to CNN. This could take the focus away from the new administration’s plans.
Biden, meanwhile, said that it was up to the Congress to decide on Trump’s impeachment, AFP reported. “The quickest way that will happen is us being sworn in on the [January] 20th,” Biden said. “What actually happens before or after, that is a judgment for the Congress to make. But that’s what I am looking forward to: Him leaving office.”
Trump had on Thursday conceded defeat to Biden, after peddling election conspiracy theories for months and claiming that the presidential poll had been rigged. On Friday, he said that he would not attend Biden’s inauguration.
At a rally on Wednesday, Trump had urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. A mob had later stormed the Capitol building as members of the Congress were meeting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential elections.
Videos on social media showed the mob shattering the Capitol’s windows and entering the building. One of the rioters even went and sat in the well of the Senate. Lawmakers put on gas masks and crouched under their desks as the police tried to secure the complex. The House was evacuated at first, but it reconvened hours later to certify Biden’s election victory.
Five people died in the violence, including a police officer, and at least 68 were arrested. The incident triggered shock in the US and across the world. Several officials related to the White House and security forces tendered resignations following the incident, while members of Trump’s Cabinet were reportedly discussing the possibility of removing him from the office.
Meanwhile, Pelosi said she spoke to Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike”, reported AFP. “The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” she wrote.