US House Republicans block effort to bring up 25th Amendment resolution

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WASHINGTON – House Democrats formally charged President Donald Trump with inciting a mob that attacked the Capitol in a bid to overturn the election results last week, setting up a vote on impeachment that could take place as soon as Wednesday (Jan 13).

The article of impeachment introduced on Monday accuses Mr Trump of “incitement of insurrection”, pointing to his false claims that the presidential election had been rigged and how he rallied his supporters to march on the Capitol.

The Democrats also introduced a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to act to remove Mr Trump, seeking to pass it by unanimous consent, which Republican lawmakers blocked. That resolution will go to the House for a vote on Tuesday.

House majority leader Steny Hoyer said that the vote to impeach Mr Trump could be on Wednesday, and that he wanted the articles of impeachment to be sent to the Republican-controlled Senate without delay, CNN reported.

Democrat Congressman David Cicilline, who introduced the impeachment charges together with 213 other lawmakers, said on Monday that he was confident it had support of a simple majority of the House’s 435 members.

“I can report that we now have the votes to impeach,” he said on Twitter.

If the House votes to impeach, the Senate will then hold a trial and vote to convict or acquit Mr Trump. But it is unlikely to muster the supermajority needed for a conviction, much like how Mr Trump was first impeached by a Democratic House and acquitted by a Republican Senate in 2019.

Republicans have hit back at the impeachment proceedings and criticised them as divisive, while Democrats have portrayed them as a necessary way of holding Mr Trump accountable for his actions.

Some Democrats however have expressed worries that having a Senate trial in the first few days or weeks of Mr Biden’s term might hobble his ability to enact his agenda.

The article of impeachment accused Mr Trump of inciting violence against the US government.

In the months before Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Mr Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted”, said the charge.

“He also wilfully 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’,” it added.

Mr Trump also previously engaged in efforts to subvert and obstruct the election results, said the charge, pointing to the President’s phone call with Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger.

A recording of the Jan 2 phone call, first reported by the Washington Post, showed how Mr Trump urged Mr Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to make him the winner of the swing state’s electoral votes, and threatened him if he did not do so.

“In all this, 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 imperilled a coequal branch of Government,” said the charge.

“He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”

Further violence is expected in Washington DC and state capitols ahead of Mr Biden’s inauguration on Jan 20.

Bastion Balance Seoul.