A growing number of congressional Democrats are calling for President Trump to be impeached after a group of his supporters stormed the United States Capitol building on Wednesday, accusing the president of “inciting the violence” and warning of the damage he could inflict before his term ends in two weeks.
The push for impeachment came after a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol during the certification of the Electoral College vote, forcing lawmakers, staff and reporters to shelter in place in both the House and Senate as rioters forced their way onto the floors of both chambers. One woman was shot and later died.
In social media posts later removed by Facebook and Twitter, Trump — who has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and maintained, without evidence, that the election was rigged — told the rioters “we love you” and “you’re very special,” but asked them to “stay peaceful” and later to “go home.” Early Thursday morning, Trump promised there would be an “orderly transition of power” on Jan. 20 when Biden is inaugurated.
NANCY PELOSI’S OFFICE STORMED DURING CAPITOL CHAOS, SENATE CHAMBER ALSO BREACHED
“I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted. “Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate. We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.”
That sentiment was echoed by the three other members of the so-called “Squad” of progressive Democratic congresswomen: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who said the president should “immediately be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate as soon as Congress reconvenes.”
Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., also pushed for Trump to be impeached, arguing the president had “incited violence” by “encouraging thousands of his supporters to storm the Capitol.” Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., said Trump “must be removed from office and prevented from further endangering our country and our people”
Trump has already been impeached once in his presidency, in December 2019, when House Democrats found him guilty on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice over his attempts to pressure the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
HOUSE, SENATE RETURN TO CAPITOL TO FINISH CERTIFYING ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTE
The Republican-controlled Senate voted almost entirely along party lines to acquit Trump on both counts.
With just two weeks until Biden is set to take office, however, it’s unlikely lawmakers would have sufficient time to pursue another impeachment trial. Their previous inquiry began in September and did not conclude until roughly three months later in December. Further complicating matters, on Thursday morning House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced there will be no more House sessions until after Biden’s inauguration.
A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment about whether she supported the calls for a second impeachment.
The new impeachment effort, which began just hours after the violence unfolded at the Capitol, also garnered support in the upper chamber from Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif.
“Impeach Donald Trump,” Markey wrote.
“Let me be very clear: if all we do is accept the certified Electoral College results and go home, we would have failed our country,” Lieu tweeted. “We must impeach Trump, or have the 25th Amendment execute, or have @realDonaldTrump resign. Congress cannot just go home like nothing happened.”
No U.S. president has been impeached twice.
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Some progressive Democrats had already floated the prospect of removing Trump from office after he urged Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a leaked phone call to reverse the state’s election results, telling him to “find 11,780 votes.”
But after Wednesday’s rampage at the Capitol, the notion gained more support among moderate Democrats.
“Not since its burning in 1814 has so much damage been done to this building, a building that symbolizes to the world the strength and greatness of our democracy,” Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, the only Democrat to flip a GOP-held seat in the 2020 election, said in a statement. “It has never been more urgent for my colleagues to uphold the pillars of our democracy and put an end to the conspiracy theories that fueled this insurrection attempt.”
There are other accountability measures that Democrats are seeking, including invoking the 25th Amendment, which would enable Vice President Mike Pence to become acting president if he and a majority of the Cabinet declare that Trump is unable to execute his presidential duties.
“Tonight, I am requesting VP Pence invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of assuming the duties from President Trump who has shown his incapacity to serve,” Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., tweeted.
Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., told a reporter, “I am in favor of that, of the 25th Amendment, and of any path to accountability for the sedition this man has clearly orchestrated.”
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said in a tweet that he supports “impeaching Trump again.”