Pelosi Says House Will Move Forward with Articles of Impeachment If Trump Does Not 'Immediately Resign'
The push to remove Donald Trump from office after Wednesday's riot at the Capitol, which was incited by the president, continues.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the House will move forward with articles of impeachment if Trump does not "immediately resign."
Pelosi, 80, issued a statement after an hours-long meeting with the House Democratic Caucus that she described as "sad, moving and patriotic."
"It was a conversation unlike any other, because it followed an action unlike any other," she said, referring to the mob egged on by Trump that breached the Capitol while Congress was in the middle of ratifying the election results.
"It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign. 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," Pelosi's statement said.
"Accordingly, the House will preserve every option – including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment," the statement concluded. "With great respect, our deliberations will continue."
Earlier on Friday, Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats that said "there is growing momentum around the invocation of the 25th Amendment."
She said that she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had called Vice President Pence about the possibility, adding that they "still hope to hear from him as soon as possible with a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people."
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Pelosi suggested in her letter that after Wednesday's riot, Trump should resign — similar to Richard Nixon, who resigned following the Watergate Scandal.
"Today, following the President’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office – immediately," she said. "If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action."
She added that she had spoken with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Mille,y about "preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a memo Friday that said the earliest impeachment trial proceedings could begin would be January 19 — just one day before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration — unless all 100 senators agree to act on received articles of impeachment beforehand, the Washington Post reported.
The senate currently has two pro forma sessions scheduled for January 12 and 15.
"Again, it would require the consent of all 100 Senators to conduct any business of any kind during the scheduled pro forma sessions prior to January 19, and therefore the consent of all 100 Senators to begin acting on any articles of impeachment during those sessions," the memo said, according to the Post.
While some lawmakers — like Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — have expressed concern that impeaching Trump with less than two weeks left before Biden is inaugurated will "only divide our country more," others have said that it is an important precedent to set moving forward.
"Some people ask: Why would you impeach and convict a president who has only a few days left in office?" Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) tweeted Friday. "The answer: Precedent. It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government."