House introduces article of impeachment against Donald Trump

Washington: Congressional Democrats have formally launched their push to remove Donald Trump from office in the penultimate week of his presidency by introducing a single article of impeachment accusing him of inciting insurrection over a violent attack on the Capitol last week.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is expected to vote to impeach Trump as early as Thursday (AEDT). If they are successful, Trump would become the only president in US history to be impeached twice.

If the move is successful, Trump would become the only president in US history to be impeached twice.Credit:Getty Images

"In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both," Pelosi wrote to her fellow House Democrats on Monday (AEDT).

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol last week, forcing the congress members who were certifying President-elect Joe Biden's election victory into hiding.

The violence, which left five people dead, came after Trump spoke to the crowd and urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest against the certification of an election result he falsely claimed was illegitimate.

Earlier in the day, Republicans blocked the Democrats' preferred option by rejecting a resolution asking Vice-President Mike Pence to invoke the US Constitution's never-used 25th Amendment to remove an unfit president.

Pence and his fellow Republicans have shown little interest in invoking the amendment.

Representative Jim McGovern, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, said he expected the impeachment article to come to the floor for debate as soon as Thursday (AEDT), and that he thought it would pass.

"What this President did is unconscionable, and he needs to be held to account," McGovern told CNN.

Pence was in the Capitol along with his family when Trump's supporters attacked, and he and Trump are currently not on speaking terms. Pence's office did not respond to questions about the issue.

Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, has said he is opposed to impeaching Trump during his final days in office.

House Democrats impeached Trump in December 2019 for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden, but the Republican-controlled Senate voted not to convict him.

Even if the House impeaches Trump again, the Senate, which is currently controlled by Republicans, would not take up the charges until January 19 at the earliest, Trump's last full day in office.

In an opinion article for The Washington Post Hillary Clinton, the Democrats' 2016 presidential candidate, said she believes it is essential to impeach Trump and that members of Congress who "joined him in subverting our democracy should resign, and those who conspired with the domestic terrorists should be expelled immediately".

"But that alone won’t remove white supremacy and extremism from America," Clinton added.

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