(Headline USA) Impeachment ahead, the House on Tuesday will first try to convince the vice president and Cabinet to act even more quickly to remove President Donald Trump from office, warning he is a threat to democracy in the remaining days of his presidency.
House lawmakers are reconvening at the Capitol for the first time since the largely pro-Trump siege to approve a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the president unable to serve.
Pence is not expected to take any such action. The House would next move swiftly to impeach Trump.
Trump told reporters at the White House the prospect of impeachment is causing “tremendous anger” in the nation.
But he said he wants “no violence.”
The president spoke as he left for Texas to survey the border wall with Mexico. His remarks were his first to reporters since the Capitol attack. He took no questions.
On impeachment, Trump said it’s “a really terrible thing that they’re doing.” But he said, “We want no violence. Never violence.”
Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — in the impeachment resolution that the House will begin debating Wednesday, a week before Democrat Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated, Jan. 20.
The unprecedented events, only the first U.S. president to be twice impeached, are unfolding in a nation bracing for more unrest. The FBI has warned of potential armed protests in Washington and many states by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration. The Washington Monument was closed to the public and the inauguration ceremony on the west steps of the Capitol will be off limits to the public.
It all added up to stunning final moments for Trump’s presidency as Democrats and some Republicans declare he is unfit for office and could do more damage after a mob ransacked the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot an unarmed woman during the violence. Three others died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.
“We have to be very tough and very strong right now in defending the Constitution and democracy,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., an author of both pieces of legislation, in an interview.
Pence has given no indication he would proceed with invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. No member of the Cabinet has publicly called for Trump to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment process.
As security tightened, Biden said Monday he was “not afraid” of taking the oath of office outside at the Capitol.
As for the rioters, Biden said, “It is critically important that there’ll be a real serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.