Democrats in the House of Representatives on Monday formally introduced a single article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” over his role in inciting his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol last week in riots that left five people dead—four of them Trump supporters and one of them an on-duty police officer.
The unprecedented armed insurrection, which followed a Trump speech in which the president falsely claimed that the 2020 election was stolen from him and directed his supporters to march to the Capitol, interrupted lawmakers who were engaged in a joint session to formally count certified state Electoral College votes.
The four-page resolution said the president was being removed for violating Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits a person who has ‘‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’’ from holding any federal office in the United States.
“In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. There, he reiterated false claims that ‘’we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.”
“He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,’” the article stated. “Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”
Authored by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline (R.I.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Jamie Raskin (Md.) and Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), the bill also said that if Trump stayed in office he would “remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution.”
The resolution was introduced after Democrats called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office with a measure that House Republicans swiftly stepped in to block.
Authored by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the 25th Amendment resolution would have required Pence to “immediately use his powers under section 4 of the 25th Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments in the Cabinet to declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.”
Trump is on track to becoming the only president to ever be impeached twice.
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[image via Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images]
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