The move, stemming from Trump’s role in inciting crowd violence with the aim of disrupting a democratic process, would remove Trump from power in his final days as president before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden at 20. January. of impeachment, it would be the second time in his presidency that Trump would face the trial.
As the situation in Washington develops, we’ll explain the restriction on impeachment, what the timeline would be before Biden was sworn in as president, and where the situation stands now.
What is impeachment and how can it lead to the president being removed from office?
Article II of the United States Constitution provides for the removal of a sitting president.
“The President, Vice President and all civilian officials of the United States will be removed from office for impeachment and conviction of treason, bribery or other serious crimes and offenses,” said Article II, Section 4.
A total of 216 votes from the House of Representatives are required to impeach – or a simple majority plus one. Subsequently, a trial takes place in the Senate, where the American Chief Justice is chairman. A full two-thirds of the 100 senators must vote to impeach.
If the Senate were to condemn Trump, it would not only remove him from the White House once the vote took place, but it would also prevent him from ever running for a second presidential term.
What’s the Difference Between Impeachment and the 25th Amendment?
Congress – including Republican representatives – has also pushed Vice President Mike Pence to call on the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remove Trump from office. Unlike impeachment, voted on by Congress, the 25th Amendment would require Pence and a majority of sitting cabinet secretaries to invoke power.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment gives the Vice President of the United States plus a majority of sitting cabinet secretaries the power to consider a sitting president unfit. The determination is made when a president is deemed “incapable of fulfilling the powers and duties of his office”.
“Yesterday, the president of the United States unleashed an armed uprising against America,” house speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference on Thursday. By calling for this inciting act, the President has made an unspeakable attack on our nation and our people. I join the Democratic Leader of the Senate and call on the Vice President to remove this President through immediate appeal. to do on the 25th amendment. “
Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said they even tried to reach Pence by phone. “This morning we called Vice President Pence to urge him to invoke the 25th Amendment,” they said in a joint statement Thursday evening. “We haven’t heard from the vice president yet.”
Read more: 25th Amendment: What It Is, How It Would Remove Trump From Power If Invoked
Congress confirmed the victory of Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris in the 2020 election in the early hours of Thursday after they reconvened Wednesday night following their evacuation from the Capitol. Trump later seemed to reluctantly agree to an “ orderly transfer of power. ”
In a video released Thursday night, Trump reiterated that he is now in the process of transition “A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20,” Trump said. My focus now is on ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transfer of power. “
Why Democrats push for impeachment
Pelosi summed up her party’s position: “The president’s dangerous and inflammatory acts require his immediate resignation,” she said Thursday.
Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted Wednesday afternoon that she was drafting articles of impeachment while being evacuated by Congress during the uprising.
“Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office by the United States Senate,” Rep. Tweeted. Omar. “We can’t keep him in office, it’s a matter of maintaining our republic.”
Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, more than 20 Democratic congressmen had joined the calls for Trump’s impeachment.
Omar tweeted the articles of impeachment circulated by the House Democrats just after noon ET Thursday. She sponsors the resolution to remove Trump from office, with co-leaders Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, Mondaire Jones, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Veronica Escobar, Jamal Bowman, Ted Lieu, Hank Johnson, Al Green, and David Cicilline .
Urging Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, Pelosi said Congress could otherwise proceed with impeachment.
He called Trump “a complete instrument of Putin” and said it would be “very dangerous” for him to remain in office until the inauguration. “Although there are only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America,” she said.
Some Republicans are also pushing for impeachment
Multiple GOP leaders reiterated calls for impeachment, or for Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to appeal to the 25th amendment to the constitution to remove Trump from power.
In a video posted on Twitter during the early hours of the uprising, Wisconsin Republican Representative Mike Gallagher compared the uprising to actions seen in so-called ‘banana republics’. Massachusetts Republican Senator Mitt Romney later came to the room to denounce Trump’s encouragement to the mafia.
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney accused the president of “abusing the trust of the people who supported him,” while GOP Rep. Illinois’ Adam Kinzinger and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton demanded that Trump acknowledge his election loss. Former President George W. Bush, the last living Republican president, released a statement calling the violence “sickening.”
Wasn’t Trump already impeached?
Yes. Trump was previously impeached by the House in December 2019. However, the Republican-majority Senate acquitted him in early 2020 – the trial being marked by a record number of tweets from Trump discrediting the impeachment trial.
His previous impeachment included two articles accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. The occasion involved Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, including a phone call in July 2019 appearing to ask that country to investigate links between Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and a Ukrainian gas company.
Is it too late to impeach Trump before Biden takes office?
When Trump was impeached in December 2019, the entire process took months – from inquiries and inquiries that began in September 2019 to the senate that acquitted Trump on February 6, 2020. Given the traditionally slow process, it could take too long to remove Trump from office ahead of Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
Representative Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, said he was in favor of “bringing articles of impeachment directly to the House floor.”
“I insist once again that the president be impeached and removed from office,” Nadler tweeted Thursday evening. “We have limited time to act. The nation cannot afford a lengthy, lengthy process.”
CNET’s Rae Hodge contributed to this report