January 11, 2021
Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts , the assistant speaker of the House, told The New York Times on January 8 that Democrats could vote on impeachment by the middle of next week—just seven days ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as POTUS.
Democrats plunged forward on Friday with plans to impeach President Trump over his role in inciting a violent mob attack on the Capitol, picking up some potential Republican support to move as early as next week to try to force Trump from office just as his term is drawing to a close.
Clark, the No. 4 Democrat, said that if Vice President Mike Pence would not invoke the 25th Amendment to forcibly relieve Trump of his duties, Democrats were prepared to act by the middle of next week to impeach him for a second time. Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned to gather Democrats by telephone at noon to discuss the effort.
According to the Times, they were rushing to begin the expedited proceeding two days after the president rallied his supporters near the White House, urging them to go to the Capitol to protest his election defeat; then continuing to stoke their grievances as they stormed the edifice— with Pence and the entire Congress meeting inside to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory— in a rampage that left five dead.
“If the reports are correct and Mike Pence is not going to uphold his oath of office and remove the president and help protect our democracy, then we will move forward with impeachment to do just that,” Clark said in an interview on CNN.
The prospect of forcing Trump from office in less than two weeks appeared remote given the logistical and political challenges involved, the Times said—given that a two-thirds majority in the Senate would be required. But the push unfolded amid a sense of national crisis following the Capitol siege, as White House resignations piled up and some Republicans appeared newly open to the possibility, which could also disqualify Trump from holding political office in the future.
Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, said he would “definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office.”
“He sworn an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution — he acted against that,” Sasse said on CBS. “What he did was wicked.”
Research contact: @nytimes