The US House of Representatives on Tuesday night (Wednesday mronig in UAE) voted to urge Vice President Mike Pence to start the US Constitution’s 25th Amendment process of removing President Donald Trump from office, although the vice president already has said he will not do so.
To invoke the 25th Amendment, Pence and a majority of Trump’s Cabinet would need to declare that Trump is unable to perform his duties. Pence rejected that course of action earlier on Tuesday. The House is expected to vote on Wednesday on impeaching Trump on charges that he incited an insurrection against the US government.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said it would not be in the best interest of the nation and it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”
Meanwhile, four Republican lawmakers, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, announced they would vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.
As the lawmakers reconvened at the Capitol for the first time since the bloody siege, they were bracing for more violence ahead of Democrat Biden’s inauguration, Jan. 20.
“All of us have to do some soul searching,” said Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, imploring other Republicans to join.
Trump, meanwhile, warned the lawmakers off impeachment and suggested it was the drive to oust him that was dividing the country.
“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said.
In his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence, the outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”
Trump faces a single charge – “incitement of insurrection” – in the impeachment resolution after the most serious and deadly domestic incursion at the Capitol in the nation’s history.
Republican Reps. John Katko of New York, a former federal prosecutor, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, an Air Force veteran, and Fred Upton of Michigan announced they, too, would vote to impeach.