US Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in Wednesday's invasion of the US Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would move forward with impeachment if Mr Trump did not resign immediately. The charge of "incitement of insurrection" appears set to be introduced by House Democrats on Monday, January 11, 2021.
A draft of the proposed impeachment resolution has been circulating around different media outlets. A draft the Times-Voice has seen accuses Mr Trump of encouraging a riot in Congress in which five people died.
President-elect Joe Biden said impeachment was for Congress to decide, but said he had thought "for a long time President Trump was not fit to hold the job”. The White House dismissed the impeachment as a "politically motivated" move that would "only serve to further divide our great country".
It is being reported that as many as 250 or so congressional Democrats, in both houses, evidenced support for the measure, which congressmen Ted Lieu of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island began drafting while they were sheltering in place during Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol.
If the process does go ahead, it would be the second time the House has pursued impeachment against President Trump. In December 2019, the lower chamber impeached Mr Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But the Senate acquitted him on both charges in February 2020.
No US president has ever been impeached twice. However, the prospect of an impeachment conviction seems remote because of Mr Trump's Republican broad support in the Senate.
One moderate Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply "needs to get out". And Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a regular critic of Trump, said he would "definitely consider" impeachment.
But there is so far no indication that enough members of the president's party would agree to convict him.
That means an impeachment in the House might only be a symbolic action to hold Mr Trump accountable for the invasion of Congress.
One of its authors, Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), said Saturday on CNN that they now have 185 Democratic supporters and hope to get some Republicans as well, up from more than 150 on Friday as fallout from the deadly riot at the Capitol continued.
“We have a responsibility to hold him accountable and take this action,” Mr. Cicilline told CNN.
Authorities on Saturday charged additional people in connection with the attack, which many say was spurred on by Mr. Trump’s rhetoric as he for weeks falsely claimed the election had been stolen.