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Lawmakers called back to DC to vote on Trump's impeachment, removal under 25th amendment

The House will vote Tuesday night to encourage Trump's removal and Wednesday morning on impeachment, House leadership announced.
/ Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — House Democrats are planning to vote on a measure calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Donald Trump and on an article of impeachment in the next two days.

On Monday, Democrats introduced the impeachment article charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection" in urging his supporters to march on the Capitol last Wednesday, as well as legislation that calls on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office before Jan. 20.

The House will vote on the 25th Amendment measure on Tuesday and on the article of impeachment on Wednesday — one week to the day after the deadly mayhem that has shaken Washington, D.C., to the core.

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The impeachment measure, which has more than 200 Democratic co-sponsors, says 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.

Members unveiled the article and other resolutions during a brief session of the House at 11 a.m. ET.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., tried to pass a resolution prepared by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Hoyer needed unanimous consent to pass the measure, but Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., blocked it. Democrats will now hold a floor vote on that legislation on Tuesday night.

"We are calling on the vice president to respond within 24 hours" of passage, Pelosi said in a letter to Democrats on Sunday announcing they would introduce the 25th Amendment measure, added that Democrats would pursue impeachment legislation next.

Multiple sources told NBC News that Pence is said unlikely to sign onto any push to invoke the 25th. “I don’t think that’s an option,” said one.

The "incitement of insurrection" article of impeachment was then introduced by Raskin and Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and David Cicilline, D-R.I. The measure also said Trump has "demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law."

"President Trump this warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States," the resolution says.

It also cites Trump's Jan. 2 phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger urging him to "find" enough votes to overturn the state's election results as part of his effort "to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election."

“We cannot allow this unprecedented provocation to go unanswered," Raskin, Lieu and Cicilline said in a statement. "Everyone involved in this assault must be held accountable, beginning with the man most responsible for it — President Donald Trump. We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said she filed two articles of impeachment related to Wednesday's attack on the Capitol and the call Trump made to Raffensperger.

Freshman Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., also introduced a resolution "to expel the members of Congress who tried to overturn the election and incited a white supremacist coup attempt that has left people dead. They have violated the 14th Amendment," she said in a tweet Sunday. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., also prepared a resolution that would censure Trump.

House Democrats are expected to hold a conference call at 2 p.m. ET Monday about their "response to the violent assault on the Capitol."

Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders have not explicitly said which, if any, articles of impeachment the House will vote on, and the earliest a vote on any articles could be held is Wednesday. Democrats have overwhelmingly voiced support for the effort and fast-tracking it as Trump nears his final days in office.

Hoyer said after leaving the House floor that "there may well be a vote on impeachment on Wednesday." He said that he is not in favor of delaying sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate but rather wants them sent immediately.

Even if the House impeaches Trump this week, the earliest the Senate could begin to take it up would be January 19, according to a memo circulated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., unless all 100 senators agree to come back early.

House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., told CNN on Sunday that the House could delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until after President-elect Joe Biden's first 100 days in office, citing concerns that a trial could slow Biden's agenda.

On Monday, Biden suggested there was another way forward. He told reporters in Delaware he'd spoken to House and Senate Democrats about the possibility that the trial would take half of the day, allowing work to proceed on his agenda at the same time.

If the impeachment measure passes, Trump would be the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

He would not have the same legal team that helped him get an acquittal on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress last year.

Jay Sekulow, who led Trump’s legal battle against the Mueller investigation and his impeachment trial last year, is not involved in any legal advice to the president at this time, said people close to Sekulow. Neither White House legal counsel Pat Cipollone nor lawyers Jane and Martin Raskins, who previously defended Trump during impeachment, are expected to be a part of any legal team going forward. Lawyer Alan Dershowitz said he has not been in contact with Trump or “anybody who would be in a position of authority.”

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