The U.S. State Department’s official website drew widespread scrutiny Monday after official biographies for President Trump and Vice President Pence were edited to note that their terms in office would end Monday evening.
The edited messages appeared on both pages for a short period before they were taken offline. The messages were visible online as Democrats continued their push to impeach Trump for his role in instigating riots at the U.S. Capitol last week over the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:49:00,” the message on Trump’s bio page read. Pence’s page displayed a nearly identical message.
State Department officials have yet to comment. However, Buzzfeed News reported that a “disgruntled employee” was responsible for the changes, citing interviews with two active diplomats.
Sec. of State Mike Pompeo ordered an internal investigation to determine how the changes were made, according to the report.
Trump’s and Pence’s terms in office are set to end on Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are formally inaugurated as their successors. However, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have pushed for Trump to leave the White House before Inauguration Day.
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Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have called on members of Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump’s ouster. Earlier Monday, House Democrats introduced an impeachment resolution against Trump for inciting “insurrection.”
Impeachment proceedings could begin by as early as this week.