House expected to introduce articles of impeachment next week
The House is planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump as early as Monday, several sources familiar with the Democrats' plans tell Axios.
What they're saying: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday night that if Trump doesn't immediately resign: "I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment."
Why it matters: Pelosi has been hearing from members across the party who want to move quickly on impeachment to hold President Trump accountable for fueling Wednesday's siege at the Capitol, especially since it's unlikely that Vice President Pence and a majority of the Cabinet will invoke the 25th Amendment.
- No president has ever been impeached twice, but Trump is now facing that very real prospect with just 12 days left in his term.
- If Trump is impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he could be barred from running for the presidency again in 2024, something that has been an attractive part of these discussions.
What we're hearing: During a midday Democratic caucus call, House leadership made the case for impeachment. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) urged the party to move forward with articles within the next week, sources on the call said.
- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) then laid out the reality of the situation, and said the party must make clear that they are moving rapidly because of exigent circumstances — that Trump is a clear danger to the republic — so as not to establish a precedent.
- In addition to articles of impeachment, the House may vote on a censure resolution against Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who suggested after losing an election lawsuit last week that “violence in the streets” could be the way to stop President-elect Biden from taking office.
- Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have been expressing increasing worry about the perceived threat they say Trump poses in his remaining days as president.
- In a draft of the articles of impeachment expected to be introduced on Monday includes one article: “incitement of insurrection,”CNN's Manu Raju reports.
The other side: House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a Friday statement that, "Impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more."
- Senate GOP leaders are also hesitant to further inflame the situation and aren't expected to support a Senate trial.
- "I think it's a ridiculous discussion to have. I've got enough decisions to make about things that can happen rather than to spend time on things that can't happen," Sen. Roy Blunt said Friday. "You don't have the time for it to happen, even if there was a reason."
- But some Republicans, including Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), say they will consider it.
What's next: Speaker Nancy Pelosi will discuss Democrats' next steps with President-elect Joe Biden by phone, according to several sources familiar with the party's Friday caucus call.