House Democrats, including members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, are pushing to rapidly impeach President Trump after the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol this week.
They laid the groundwork on Friday to impeach Trump for a second time, potentially as soon as the beginning of next week, or to pursue legislation surrounding the 25th Amendment.
And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes” for nuclear war.
“It is the hope of members that the president will immediately resign,” Pelosi said in a statement after an hours-long virtual meeting with the House Democratic Caucus.
“But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment,” she continued, adding that the “House will preserve every option” to limit or remove Trump from power.
The number of Democrats calling for impeachment continued to grow on Friday. Massachusetts U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Lori Trahan are among those who have signed onto articles of impeachment that could be introduced next week. One draft accuses Trump of abuse of power, saying he “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol,” according to a person familiar with the details.
With just 12 days left in his term, removing Trump from power at this stage would be a tall order. But Democrats are determined.
“Every hour that passes without consequence sets a dangerous precedent for democracy,” Pressley tweeted Friday. “Impeach now.”
One Senate Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, called for Trump to resign.
Trump has been abandoned by aides and Cabinet members in his final days in office. He promised an “orderly” transfer of power, only to say Friday he will not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration — the first such snub since Andrew Johnson. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend.
Biden told reporters he was unfazed by Trump’s lack of RSVP, calling his absence “a good thing.” Asked about impeachment, Biden said, “That’s a decision for the Congress to make.”
Trump’s announcement, made via tweet, became one of his last before Twitter permanently suspended his account Friday afternoon citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Trump later issued a statement through the White House press pool blasting Twitter for “banning free speech” and alleging that the company’s “employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account.”
“I predicted this would happen. We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future,” Trump said. “We will not be SILENCED!”
Michelle Obama demanded that Big Tech block Trump permanently and they complied. And now, in a coordinated attack to try to destroy Twitter’s competition, Google deplatformed Parler and Apple is blackmailing Parler. Fight back and tell all you know to join Parler ASAP!
— Mark Levin Marklevinshow Saturday, January 9, 2021
Herald wire services contributed to this report.
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