After conferencing with the House Democratic caucus, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark said that Democrats are prepared to begin proceedings for a second impeachment of President Trump “as early as mid-next week.”
Calling the president a “traitor” who “incited violence,” Clark told CNN that the lower chamber is reluctant to wait the remaining 12 days of Trump’s term in office, claiming that his continued service poses a threat.
“Every day that Donald Trump is president of the United States is a day of grave danger,” she said while explaining the tools that House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler may use to proceed.
The drastic action on the part of the House would be unlikely to succeed. An impeachment effort in the House would require the votes of 67 senators to convict, an improbable proposition given the upper chamber’s current composition.
The murmurings of impeachment have cropped up as an alternative method of removing Trump from office prematurely if Vice President Mike Pence decides not to act. Under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the vice president, along with a majority of the Cabinet or “such other body as Congress,” can vote to initiate an involuntary transfer of power away from the president. Pence has signaled a reluctance to take this step.
Still, the vice president has nonetheless faced mounting pressure to act. The effort has gained the support of a member of Trump’s party. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, urged Pence to remove him from office, calling him “unmoored, not just from his duty or even his oath but from reality itself.”
“Sadly, yesterday, it became evident that … the president abdicated his duty to protect the American people in the ‘People’s House,'” Kinzinger said in recorded remarks. “It’s time to invoke the 25th Amendment to end this nightmare.”
One GOP senator, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, said on Friday he is open to removing Trump from office through impeachment.
Trump was impeached on two Ukraine-related articles of impeachment in the House in December 2019, but he was acquitted by the Senate.