House Democrats will move to impeach Donald Trump if he does not “willingly” resign, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday (Jan. 8). Lawmakers have been discussing removing the president from office since a violent mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday (Jan. 6).
“Today, following the president’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office — immediately,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to the members of the House. “If the president does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.”
Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark echoed Pelosi’s plans, saying that if Vice President Mike Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, then House Democrats will move to impeach the president by the middle of next week.
Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy urged both parties to “lower the temperature” and argued that removing Trump less than two weeks before Joe Biden’s inauguration would not help to unite the country.
“Impeaching the president with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more,” he said.
However, other Republicans seemed to support the idea, such as Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska. On CBS, Sasse said he would “definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office.”
“He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution — he acted against that,” he added. “What he did was wicked.”
Wednesday’s violence on Capitol Hill left five people dead and has been largely attributed to Trump continuously encouraging his supporters to defy the election results, which he has repeatedly claimed are untrue. However, the window for impeaching Trump is still slim, as it would require a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate and would need to be approved before Jan. 20.
Articles of impeachment could be introduced as soon as Monday (Jan. 11), as that is when the House of Representatives is next in session.