The U.S. Capitol at night (Image via Flickr Commons)
By Laura Olson
WASHINGTON — At least 214 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on to a measure to impeach President Donald Trump that was introduced Monday, charging him with inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Supporters of the impeachment effort say they would have enough votes to send charges against Trump — who is days away from leaving office — to the Senate for a second time.
There are 222 Democrats in the House and 211 Republicans, with one race still undecided and one vacancy, so Democrats would need 217 votes.
Four Democrats who serve on the House Judiciary Committee — Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of New York — introduced the impeachment resolution.
“Most important of all, I can report that we now have the votes to impeach,” Cicilline wrote on Twitter as he posted a copy of the resolution.
The impeachment measure accuses Trump of making statements that “encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.’”
The measure also cites Trump’s phone call directing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the state.
“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government,” the measure reads. “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.”
The impeachment process could begin as soon as Wednesday, following a final effort to ask Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, if a majority of the Cabinet also approves.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., sought on Monday morning to bring up for unanimous approval a resolution from Raskin that would urge Pence to begin the 25th Amendment process. Republicans objected to that action.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said the chamber will hold a floor vote on the resolution Tuesday, before moving to the impeachment process.
The impeachment process would typically begin in the House Judiciary Committee, but it is expected to go directly to the full House. If the article of impeachment is approved, the Senate would then hold a trial, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said would not begin until Jan. 19, the day before Biden is set to be sworn in.
At least two Senate Republicans have called for Trump to resign: Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Toomey said in broadcast interviews over the weekend that he believes Trump “committed impeachable offenses,” and suggested that the outgoing president could potentially face “criminal liability” related to the Capitol insurrection. But Toomey stopped short of saying that he would vote to convict Trump if the House does send over articles of impeachment.
“Whether impeachment can pass the United States Senate is not the issue,” Hoyer told reporters Monday morning, according to a pool feed.
“The issue is we have a president most of us believe participated in encouraging an insurrection and an attack on this building and on democracy and trying to subvert the counting of the presidential ballot.”
Here is a list of Pennsylvania lawmakers, as of Monday morning, who had signed onto the impeachment resolution, and their public statements on the matter.
U.S. Brendan Boyle, D-2nd District:
Donald Trump must be removed from now. It’s not just about what happened on Jan 6. It’s about what could happen over the next 10 days. https://t.co/MsvEonCSNS
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) January 11, 2021
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8th District:
This week, the president encouraged a rampage on our Capitol that attempted to disrupt one of our core Constitutional processes.
This is intolerable & unacceptable behavior by an American president. I join those calling for his immediate resignation. My full statement 🔽 pic.twitter.com/ofmv7hlCcD
— Matt Cartwright (@RepCartwright) January 9, 2021
U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-4th District:
“I hope Republicans will join us. This is a defining moment … We vote based on our oath of office.” — @RepDean on the push to impeach and remove the president after the attack on the Capitol #MTPDaily
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 11, 2021
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-18th District:
I have cosponsored articles of impeachment against @realDonaldTrump. He demonstrated yesterday that every day he’s President is a day he will try to overturn the election and undermine our democracy. He must be removed from office immediately.
— Mike Doyle (@USRepMikeDoyle) January 7, 2021
U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3rd District:
I will co-sponsor articles of impeachment –
AND I am absolutely willing and in favor of coming back into session to vote to remove Trump!
I have repeatedly voted for impeaching him because he is unfit for office – and yesterday just proved that all over again.
— Congressman Dwight Evans (@RepDwightEvans) January 7, 2021
U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th District:
When our country is attacked by terrorists, when the Legislative Branch is attacked by the Executive Branch, we must stand united against this affront. ALL who perpetrated this offense on our democracy must be held accountable – that is not partisan. It is American.
— Chrissy Houlahan (@RepHoulahan) January 11, 2021
U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th District:
I support impeaching President Trump.
I'm sure people have reasonable, practical questions about why we should do this when it's difficult to remove him from office any faster than January 20th.
I get that. But here's why I decided it must be done immediately.
— Conor Lamb (@ConorLambPA) January 10, 2021
U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-5th District:
This president is a clear and present danger to our country.
If he does not resign, and if the VP or members of the cabinet do not invoke the 25th Amendment, Congress must impeach.
— Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (@RepMGS) January 11, 2021
U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-8th District:
Since apparently President Trump is not going to resign, nor is Vice President Pence going to invoke the 25th Amendment, I have signed on to articles of impeachment being introduced this week⬇️ pic.twitter.com/rlkInpUprF
— Rep. Susan Wild (@RepSusanWild) January 11, 2021
Capital-Star Editor John L. Micek contributed to this story.
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