The Democrats in the House of Representatives have stuck to their demand for what could well be a “history-making” vote to try to remove President Donald Trump from the office with at least five Republicans joining their push to impeach Trump over the storming of the US Capitol in which at least five people, including a policeman, were killed.
The House will vote on Wednesday on an article of impeachment accusing Trump of inciting “revolt” in a speech to his followers on January 7 following which a mob stormed the Capitol, leading to the death of the five.
Interestingly, only eight days remain in Trump’s term before Joe Biden is sworn in as the new president of the USA.
The US Vice President Mike Pence had, on Tuesday evening, rejected the move by The Democrats to invoke the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution to remove Trump.
The House is still dominated by the Republicans and the action is likely to trigger a trial in the Senate, although it was unclear whether enough time or political appetite is still there expel Trump.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The House has passed a resolution formally calling on Pence to act with the final vote being 223-205 in the favour.
Meanwhile, in what could be a further indicator of Trump losing his iron grip on his party, at least four Republicans, including a member of the House leadership, said they would vote for his second impeachment – a prospect no president before Trump has faced.
Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack” on the Capitol on January 6, Cheney, the daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, said in a statement, adding, “I will vote to impeach the president.”
Three other Republican House members, John Katko, Adam Kinzinger and Fred Upton, said they would also vote for impeachment.
If Trump is impeached by the House, he would have a trial in the Senate to determine his guilt. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is needed to convict him, meaning at least 17 Republicans in the 100-member chamber would have to vote for conviction.
Trump has said he plans to run again in 2024.
Violence had broken out at the White House last Wednesday after the supporters of President Donald Trump entered the building in anger over his election defeat.
The protesters, who were reportedly the supporters of Donald Trump, swarmed the US Capitol putting it on lockdown as Vice President Mike Pence rebuffed the president’s demand to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
(With agency inputs)