House Urges Pence To Remove Trump From Power
Jan 12, 2021, 6:22 PM | Updated: 10:18 pm
(Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the fallout from the attack of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump loyalists (all times local):
The House has voted to urge Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and hold a Cabinet vote to remove President Donald Trump from office — a symbolic action after Pence had already said he would not do so.
The House sent the message to Pence and Trump almost a week after an angry mob of the president’s supporters marched to the Capitol and violently invaded the building. The breach happened as Congress counted the electoral votes that confirmed Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win.
The legislation was sponsored by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat and former Constitutional law professor who said the amendment was intended to be the “final mechanism for removing a president who is failing to meet the most basic duties of his office and indeed actually harming the Republic with his conduct.”
Raskin said the crisis “is not over yet” in Trump’s final week in office.
In a letter late Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said the mechanism should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” but should be reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation.
The House is expected to vote to impeach the president Wednesday.
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton has become the fourth Republican to back the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The House is set to vote as early as Wednesday on impeaching Trump for a second time after he egged on a violent mob of supporters who marched to the Capitol and invaded it a week ago. Upton says he would have preferred that the House censure Trump, “but it is time to say: enough is enough.”
Upton cited Trump’s comments Tuesday in which he “expressed no regrets” for the insurrection.
“This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution,” Upton said.
Upton joins Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, John Katko of New York and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois in supporting impeachment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House must move to impeach President Donald Trump because the country is at “an unprecedented moment in history.”
Speaking Tuesday on the eve of a second vote to impeach him, Pelosi said Trump must be charged because of the “seditious attack” on the Capitol by his supporters one week ago.
“I urge my Republican colleagues to open their eyes and to finally hold this president accountable,” Pelosi told her colleagues on the House floor late Tuesday. “The story of our country, and the future of our very democracy, are at stake.”
The Democratic-led House is expected to vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday, with some Republican votes. If so, Trump will be the first American president to be impeached twice.
Two newly elected lawmakers who had missed the opening day of Congress because of COVID-19 have been sworn in as the House convened for the first time after the violent attack on the Capitol.
Republican Reps. David Valadao of California and María Elvira Salazar of Florida were sworn in by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
They two been in quarantine for COVID-19 when the new Congress opened Jan. 3.
Both Republicans defeated Democrats in the November election. Valadao won back the central California seat he previously held. Salazar took over a Miami-area district.
Their first votes in Congress will be the legislation being considered Tuesday to call on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from office after he encouraged a rally mob of supporters to head to the Capitol.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named a Maryland Democrat grieving his son’s recent death as leader of the nine House Democrats who would prosecute President Donald Trump during his expected Senate impeachment trial.
The team includes three women, four people of color and lawmakers from states stretching from Rhode Island to California.
Rep. Jamie Raskin will be lead manager. The 58-year-old has often been an energetic presence during floor debates and taught constitutional law for 25 years. His 25-year-old son died of suicide on New Year’s Eve.
Other managers will be Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island; Joaquin Castro of Texas, Eric Swalwell of California, Ted Lieu of California, Joe Neguse of Colorado and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and Stacey Plaskett, the Democratic delegate from the Virgin Islands.
Trump is being charged with incitement of insurrection over the attack at the Capitol last week. Democrats plan to push an impeachment resolution through the House on Wednesday, with modest GOP support.
Prosecutors say an Alabama man arrested near the Capitol after the attack had a truckload of weapons, including components for 11 explosive devices, guns, smoke devices and machetes, along with a note containing information about a member of Congress.
Federal prosecutors wrote in court documents Tuesday that the note and volume of weapons that 70-year-old Lonnie Leroy Coffman had in his truck suggest he had “an intent to provide them to others” and to attack members of Congress. Coffman was charged with multiple firearms crimes.
In asking for Coffman to remain jailed until trial, prosecutors noted that he had dangerous incendiary mixtures creating napalm and appeared to be motivated to conduct violence against elected representatives.
The note in the truck referred to a judge appointed by President Barack Obama as a “bad guy” and gave the name of a member of Congress, noting the representative is of Muslim faith.
Coffman’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment late Tuesday.
An Alabama man accused of participating in last week’s riot had been out on bond on drug charges.
Court records show that a judge on Monday revoked the bond for 23-year-old William Watson after prosecutors said he was identified in photographs and video of the riot.
Authorities noted that they were able to identify Watson by the distinctive tattoos on his hand and that Watson appeared to describe his participation in a social media post objecting to people’s speculation that he was an antifa member because of his appearance.
The social media post that prosecutors attributed to Watson said: “They wanna call me antifa because I have a video game tattoo on my hand and I was pleading for peaceful discourse. Let em say what they will. The fake news won’t win against thousands of patriots who recorded today.”
Zachary D. Alsobrook, a lawyer for Watson, did not have a comment Tuesday evening.
Republican lawmakers are objecting to new metal detectors outside the House chamber that were added as a security precaution following last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol.
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, said Tuesday that the metal detectors were designed to impede lawmakers from voting and were not discussed with GOP leaders ahead of time.
Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois was angry about the metal detectors and said valuable resources were being diverted in order to install the devices.
Several lawmakers simply walked around the devices. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said, “You can’t stop me. I’m on my way to a vote.”
Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who has announced her intention to carry a gun on Capitol grounds, set off a metal detector. It wasn’t clear if she had a cellphone or other metal object in her purse.
She refused to allow a search of her bag and eventually was let into the House chamber.
A Republican congressman says he won’t apologize for remarks last week despite a proposed censure resolution accusing him of helping incite the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol.
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks said Tuesday that his critics are misrepresenting his remarks, which he says were intended as a pep talk for the next election cycle.
Brooks told a crowd at a Donald Trump “Save America” rally that preceded the riot that he wanted them to take a message back home and “along the way stop at the Capitol.”
He said, “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” He was wearing a hat that said “Fire Pelosi.”
Democratic Reps. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida on Monday introduced the resolution for censure, saying his words “helped spark chaos, destruction, injuries and death.”
Brooks’ office said his remarks were meant to inspire the crowd to fight in the 2022 and 2024 elections. He denied encouraging violence.
An Idaho man whose photograph was included on a federal list of those considered “persons of interest” in the siege of the U.S. Capitol has been jailed in Boise.
The Ada County sheriff’s office says 34-year-old Josiah Colt turned himself in on Tuesday afternoon and was being held on a U.S. Marshal’s hold.
Colt was among those who stormed the Capitol during a riot by loyalists of President Donald Trump as Congress prepared to certify the results of the election won by Democrat Joe Biden. Five people died.
After the insurgency, Colt posted a video to Facebook erroneously claiming he was the first person in the mob to sit in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair. Photos from the siege show him in the seat normally used by Vice President Mike Pence in the Senate chamber.
Colt later issued an apology for his conduct through Boise TV station KBOI, saying his actions brought shame to himself and his country.
Vice President Mike Pence is ruling out invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from power, less than a week after the president fomented the violent insurrection at the Capitol.
In a letter late Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said the mechanism should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” and reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation. Pelosi has called on Pence to secure the majority of the Cabinet and vote to declare Trump unfit to serve.
As the House appears on the cusp of a bipartisan impeachment of Trump, Pence encouraged Congress to avoid actions to “further divide and inflame the passions of the moment” and to focus on smoothing the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
Pelosi has said if Pence rejects use of the 25th Amendment, the House will move to impeach him. Already, at least three Republicans have said they would vote for that.