The Speaker of the House has just called for the Vice President to immediately remove Donald Trump via the Vice President’s use of the 25th Amendment — and failing that, floated the idea of impeachment and removal from office in a Thursday afternoon Capitol Hill press conference.
A House Judiciary Committee co-sponsor of the Articles of Impeachment exclusively told Occupy Democrats that we could see a floor vote as soon as Monday if the Vice President hasn’t removed him from office already by then.
“If the Vice President and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joining the Senate Majority leader designate Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus, and the American people, by the way.” (video embedded below)
She says she is hoping to receive an answer from Vice President Pence today if he is going to remove Trump immediately or not.
While deferring direct answers to reporters’ questions on timing, Pelosi seemed to indicate that she is acting now, and would act institutionally with the powers of the House quickly to force the issue towards Trump’s removal, making clear she believes the “best route, the most immediate route would be the Vice President.”
“Articles can be introduced on Monday in the pro forma session of the House,” said impeachment resolution co-sponsor Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) to Occupy Democrats via Direct Message about the timing of a vote on the articles. “If Leadership allows a rules waiver, then it can be voted on the same day on the Floor. If not then it would go through Judiciary Committee first.”
Only an hour before Speaker placed the option of impeachment on the table, the new resolution of impeachment released by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (document embedded below) began circulating amongst House Democrats who hold a majority in the chamber and can impeach Trump without Republican votes, although members like Rep. Adam Kitzinger (R-IL) would likely join any ejectment action. Twenty-four members of the House have signed on to their two-count impeachment resolution.
Their impeachment resolution cites both Trump’s corrupt phone call to beg the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” 11,780 votes and his incitement of a seditious rebellion against the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the joint session of Congress carrying out the normally mundane process of counting electoral college votes.
Its co-lead sponsors are Reps. David Cicilline, Ted Lieu, Al Green, Hank Johnson, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Vicente Gonzalez, Jamaal Bowman, Mondaire Jones, Veronica Escobar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Cori Bush.
“Donald Trump remains the single greatest threat to our democracy,” Rep. Omar said. “Congress should reconvene immediately to carry out this constitutional duty.”
“The President presents a clear, direct threat to our democracy and national security,” said Rep. Pressley, “and yesterday’s acts of white supremacist domestic terrorism on the U.S. Capitol—incited by Trump himself—is further evidence of the danger he presents.”
During her press conference, the Speaker also called for the Chief of the Capitol Police to resign and cited a bill Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-MA) drafted and re-submitted last October.
Rep. Raskin originally introduced a 25th Amendment bill in 2017, which would give Congress the role of creating a permanent body under the powers of the Constitution to appoint a bipartisan Commission of former high-ranking officials (President, VP, Surgeon and Attorney General) as well as psychiatrists that each party’s legislators would appoint.
“In emergency situations, Congress could pass a concurrent resolution requiring the Commission to examine the President, determine his/her ability to execute the powers and duties of the office, and report its findings to Congress,” Rep. Raskin explained last October. “If presidential incapacity exists, the Vice President would immediately assume the role of Acting President.” It’s a carefully thought out proposal to permanently enlarge Congress’ powers under the Constitution to effect a more rapid removal of and unfit president by passing a resolution of inquiry to the competency commission it would create.
America’s democracy is hanging on by a thin reed this afternoon, less than twelve hours after the Vice President declared Joe Biden’s victory official while ceremonially presiding over a joint session of Congress. The Speaker’s first time impeaching Trump was a months-long process, but it clarified the House of Representatives’ immense powers in a time of insurrection and impeachment. The expectation is that now we will see the full power of the people’s House deployed to save the Republic.
Here is the Speaker’s statement:
Trump has committed an assault on our nation and our people.
Pence must remove him and invoke the 25th amendment. If they fail to act, we may be prepared to move forward with impeachment.
Justice will be done to those who carried out these acts of sedition and cowardice. -NP pic.twitter.com/NG6bJLts2l
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 7, 2021
Here is a copy of the resolution:
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition