WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are issuing Vice President Mike Pence an ultimatum: Remove President Donald Trump from office or see him impeached again.
A resolution before the House Tuesday calls on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. It and the articles of impeachment expected to be get a vote Wednesday blame Trump for inciting the angry mob that overran the U.S. Capitol last week as members of Congress tried to certify the Electoral College vote in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
“I saw in their eyes hate and evil,” Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said. “At his (Trump’s) urging, they came to the Capitol.”
Capitol Police say they are monitoring threats that armed Trump supporters may try to storm the Capitol again next week. Federal authorities also put out the warning to states, saying state capitols may also be targeted.
“They are calling for continued war,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said of violent Trump supporters. “This is not just a crisis and an emergency, it is a continuing crisis and emergency.”
He said Trump cannot be trusted to remain in office, citing supportive tweets the president put out before his Twitter account was permanently deactivated.
But Trump on Tuesday deflected blame, calling the efforts to remove him with less than two weeks left in his term “the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”
“People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” he said in his first in-person comments to reporters since the riot.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who last week objected to Electoral College results, echoed the president’s defense.
“Democrats have been wanting remove President Trump from office since he won the election in 2016,” he said. “These actions will only again continue to divide the nation.”
He does not expect Pence to go along with invoking the 25th Amendment.
It’s unclear how many Republicans support removing the president, but House Democrats undoubtedly have the votes to impeach the president Wednesday, assuming Pence does not act.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring the Senate back to Washington early to hold an impeachment trial. McConnell has not indicated he will do so.