Impeachment – January 11, 2021
(TrueNewsBlog) – Democrats are barreling forward with plans to impeach Trump for the second time. Last night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced to members that the House will try to pass a resolution by unanimous consent calling on VP Mike Pence and cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. If that fails, the resolution will be brought to the floor Tuesday.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said articles of impeachment could be drafted by today but might not reach the House floor until Tuesday or Wednesday.
But Clyburn also suggested on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the House might hit pause before sending them to the Senate, since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated the earliest an impeachment trial could begin is Jan. 19, and even that’s unlikely. Impeaching him even after the 20th makes sense because if he is convicted by the senate which he will with Democrats in control, Trump will not be able to run in 2024.
A few other factors guiding Democrats’ thinking: Impeaching Trump the day before Biden takes office might set a less-than-ideal tone to kick off his term. Senators have a lot on their plates, like confirming his Cabinet nominees.
“Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,” Clyburn, a close ally of Biden, said. “And maybe we will send the articles some time after that.” If Trump were to be impeached and convicted, he could lose the ability to run for president again in 2024.
Cabinet members have not formally presented invoking the 25th Amendment to Pence, who would have to be on board. Two of them — Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy Devos — bashed the president for his inflammatory rhetoric, but they resigned before having to publicly vote on the move.
White House sources have said that releasing the idea of exercising the 25th Amendment into the ether was meant to serve as a warning shot to Trump to rein in the chaos. Pence, for his part, hasn’t commented on the possibility publicly. But CNN reported over the weekend that the VP “wants to preserve the option in case President Donald Trump becomes more unstable.”
The “more unstable” bit suggests that the vice president has already identified some instability regarding Trump’s fitness to serve.
Democrats and even some Republicans (including GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Sunday) are urging him to step down. Senior advisers have said he will not.
It took Trump 65 days to acknowledge his defeat. In a statement Thursday, he still peddled the lie that the election was rigged and that the facts show he won. Trump would only abandon the presidency if he felt he had no other choice, most likely because staying put would thrust him into legal trouble. Or, if he had something to gain that he couldn’t turn down, such as a pardon by the vice president.