House expected to vote today on impeachment
Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday that he won’t invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office.
In light of the vice president’s decision, the House’s Democratic majority plans to vote today to impeach President Trump, which would make him the first U.S. president to be impeached twice.
On Tuesday, Mr. Pence wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and explained he didn’t think that invoking the 25th Amendment would be “in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution.”
The vice president wrote that the amendment was meant to address presidential disability or incapacity. He said it was not intended to be a “means of punishment or usurpation.”
“Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation,” Vice President Pence wrote.
His letter reached the speaker several hours before the representatives voted Tuesday night in favor of the resolution urging the vice president to invoke the 25th Amendment. As of press time, Democrats and one Republican backed the resolution.
Today’s article of impeachment charges the president with inciting a mob to attack the Capitol Jan. 6, the day that Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the Electoral College.
If approved, the article of impeachment would go to the Senate for a trial, which would require two-thirds for a conviction. The 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with them would need the support of 17 Republicans.
If that happened, the Senate could vote by a simple majority whether to only remove President Trump from office or to bar him from ever holding office again.
The Senate trial could happen after President Trump leaves office.
In the House, impeachment gained support from U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, the chamber’s third-highest ranking Republican. On Tuesday, the Wyoming congresswoman said she would vote for impeachment.
“A violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes,” Rep. Cheney said in a statement Tuesday. “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President.”
Three other Republicans — Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Rep. John Katko of New York and Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan — also said they would vote for impeachment.
No Republican voted for the first impeachment of President Trump.