After a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6 as Congress was trying to certify the election of President-elect Joe Biden, Democrats are now moving toward impeachment as a possible consequence for President Donald Trump, who at times openly encouraged the crowd.
House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump on Monday, January 11, 2021, that accuses him of “incitement of insurrection” for his role in fomenting the deadly occupation of the Capitol. Assuming the article of impeachment passes, it will be the second time in just over a year that the House has charged the president with “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that even though Trump has just a few days left in office before Biden’s January 20 inauguration, Pelosi said “any day can be a horror show” with Trump in office. She and House Democrats are encouraging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office — but if he doesn’t, Pelosi has also said there was an “overwhelming sentiment” among her caucus to move forward with impeachment instead.
Reporting quickly made clear Pence was not interested in pursuing that action, and Trump himself released a video acknowledging there would be a “new administration,” presumably to assure fellow Republicans he is capable of remaining in office. Now, a House floor vote on impeachment is expected on Wednesday, January 13.
Ultimately, the Senate — which acquitted Trump in his first impeachment trial in 2020 — would decide whether to convict the president. Though this round could be more bipartisan than the first, it doesn’t currently look like there are enough votes in the split Senate to do so.
Still, Democrats say they must move forward with the only tool they have to punish the president: impeachment.