The chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Rules Committee yesterday said that he expected the article of impeachment against US President Donald Trump to get to the House floor for a vote tomorrow and predicted it would pass.
“It is important that we act, and it is important that we act in a very serious and deliberative manner,” US Representative Jim McGovern told CNN in an interview. “We expect this up on the floor on Wednesday. And I expect that it will pass.”
McGovern said that he expected Republican lawmakers to object to a request to bring up a resolution demanding that US Vice President Mike Pence invoke the constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump.
In that case, his committee would provide a rule to bring that legislation to the House for a vote and, 24 hours later, the committee would bring another resolution to deal with impeachment.
“What this president did is unconscionable, and he needs to be held to account,” McGovern said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday night said that the House would take up a resolution to impeach Trump for the second time in less than two years unless Pence and the Cabinet this week invoked the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Pence, who has privately dismissed that course of action, would have 24 hours to respond, Pelosi said, and if he does not “we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the floor.”
“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats.
An article of impeachment accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection” over his actions encouraging the mob that staged a deadly assault on Wednesday last week has drawn more than 200 Democratic cosponsors.
However, with the US Senate in recess, any trial for Trump could not begin until Wednesday next week at the earliest without the backing of all senators, and once a trial is under way, the Senate could not take up other business, including US president-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees and top-priority legislation.
US Representative James Clyburn, a member the House Democratic leadership, on Sunday said that the House could hold on to the articles of impeachment for as long as 100 days to provide some breathing room.
“I do have concerns, and so does Speaker Pelosi” about the impact on Biden’s administration, Clyburn said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Let’s give president-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running. And maybe we will send the articles some time after that.”
Among Republicans there is no emerging, unified position on a response to Trump’s actions on Wednesday last week, but it is clear most would oppose impeachment.
If an article of impeachment is sent to the Senate, it would take a two-thirds majority of the chamber to convict Trump. There is no precedent for an impeachment trial after a president has left office, although there is no prohibition against it.
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