House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on January 11 that Democrats are looking to impeach President Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” This is the first time in United States history that a sitting president would be impeached twice. The introduction of the impeachment papers comes five days after pro-Trump insurgents stormed the Capitol with a joint session of Congress inside to protest Joe Biden‘s certification as president-elect.
The single article of impeachment reads: “President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.” The resolution also cites the 14th Amendment, which “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from ever holding office again.
Here is the article of impeachment I just introduced, along with 213 colleagues, against President Trump for Incitement of Insurrection.
Most important of all, I can report that we now have the votes to impeach. pic.twitter.com/RaJIjzQSvm
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) January 11, 2021
Pelosi is already on the cusp of having the majority support in the House to impeach Trump before the article hits the floor. As of 12:00pm ET on January 11, the article has 210 co-sponsors; 217 are needed for a majority rule. Along with his part in inciting the Capitol Hill siege, the impeachment document cites Trump’s phone call to the Georgia secretary of state on January 2. Trump lamented about voter fraud again, and pressured him into “finding” the 11,780 votes he needed to win the state.
Two hundred members of Congress said in the wake of the insurrection that they supported removing Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment. Pelosi stated that if Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment within 24 hours, Democrats will take the impeachment vote to the House floor. “The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America,” she said in a previous speech. “Any day can be a horror show for America” with Trump still in office, she added.
Rioters overtook the Capitol on January 6 after Trump gave a speech to an agitated crowd of hundreds, telling them, “We will never concede. You don’t concede when there’s theft. This year, they rigged an election. They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before.” The crowd marched to Capitol Hill, chanting “bullsh*t!” and waving Trump banners and Confederate flags. Inside, after busting through barriers and lines of Capitol police, they smashed windows, breached both chambers, and made off with computers from lawmakers’ offices. Four people died, including a police officer.
In a letter to House members on January 8, Pelosi called Trump’s actions and unwillingness to condemn the rioters a “horrific assault on our democracy.” Pelosi also said that she spoke with General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to “discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.” If Trump is impeached and convicted, he will lose the benefits afforded to former presidents. No $200,000 a year pension, no lifelong Secret Service detail, no travel allowance.
Most importantly, he will be banned for running for office at any level of government. President Trump was already impeached once in December 2019 on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The charges stemmed from a quid pro quo phone call, in which he asked Ukraine’s president to dig up dirt on Biden in exchange for military aid. The Senate declined to convict and remove him from office.