Republicans block House call for Mike Pence to oust Donald Trump

11 January 2021, 17:04

Mike Pence and Donald Trump (J. Scott Applewhite and Evan Vucci/AP)
Pence-Trump. Picture: PA

Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and Cabinet could make a move if they deemed the president to be unfit for office.

A House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove President Donald Trump from office was blocked by Republicans.

Democrats in the House are pushing Mr Pence and the Cabinet to oust Mr Trump, saying he is unfit for office after encouraging a protest march that turned into a mob that ransacked the US Capitol in a deadly siege.

Mr Pence has given no indication he is ready to proceed on such a course, which would involve invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, including a vote by a majority of the Cabinet to oust Mr Trump before he leaves office on January 20.

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on that date.

With just days left in Mr Trump’s presidency, the House also is preparing to impeach Mr Trump this week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying first to put pressure on Republicans to tell Mr Trump it is time to go.

Mr Trump would face a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — over the riot at the US Capitol, according to a draft of the articles.

Politicians were set to introduce the legislation on Monday, with voting in midweek.

The four-page impeachment bill draws from Mr Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Biden; his pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes; and his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the building on Wednesday.

A violent mob of Mr Trump supporters overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol, forcing politicians to scatter as they were finalising Mr Biden’s victory over Mr Trump in the Electoral College.

Members of the military stand on the steps of the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington (Patrick Semansky/AP)
Members of the military stand on the steps of the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington (Patrick Semansky/AP)

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the legislation said.

The bill from Representatives David Cicilline, Ted Lieu, Jamie Raskin and Jerrold Nadler, said Mr Trump threatened “the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power” and “betrayed” trust.

“He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” they wrote.

Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat, said on CBS: “We need to move forward with alacrity.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will proceed with legislation to impeach Mr Trump as she pushes the vice president and the Cabinet to invoke constitutional authority to force him out, warning that Trump is a threat to democracy after the deadly assault on the Capitol.

By Press Association