Congress calls for Trump impeachment despite Pence rejection
Update 1: Reworks lede, changes headline, adds info on impeachment attempt
US President Donald J. Trump (R) turns over the podium to US Vice President Mike Pence (L) during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 04 January 2019 (reissued 11 January 2021). EPA-EFE FILE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (2-R) walks to the House floor from her office inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 12 January 2021.EPA-EFE FILE/SHAWN THEW
Viewed through a broken door glass National Guard soldiers line up on the East Front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 12 January 2021. EPA-EFE FILE/SHAWN THEW
President Donald J. Trump makes a statement to the gathered press as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, 12 January 2021. The president was heading to Alamo, Texas, to visit the border wall between the United States and Mexico. This is Trump's first public appearance following the insurrection at the US Capitol by his followers on Jan. 6. EFE/EPA/Samuel Corum / POOL
President Donald J. Trump makes a statement to the gathered press as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, 12 January 2021. The President was heading to Alamo, Texas, to visit the border wall between the United States and Mexico. This is Trump's first public appearance following the insurrection at the US Capitol by his followers on Jan. 6. EFE/EPA/Samuel Corum / POOL
Update 1: Reworks lede, changes headline, adds info on impeachment attempt
Washington, Jan 12 (EFE).- The United States House of Representatives approved a resolution formally requesting Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to invoke the constitution's 25th Amendment to remove outgoing President Donald Trump, against which he is now preparing to promote a new political trial.
In a session held six days after Trump supporters attacked the Capitol in Washington, where five people were killed, congressmen approved the initiative by 223 votes in favor and 205 against.
In the resolution, congressmen asked Pence to declare Trump "incapable of executing the duties of his office and of immediately exercising the powers as acting president."
However, the vote became a mere formality due to the refusal of the second in command of the Trump Administration to move in that direction.
Pence said Tuesday that he would not invoke the amendment to remove 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 wrote in a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, as the House prepared to vote on a resolution calling on the vice president to utilize the amendment.
Under Section 4 of that amendment, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can declare the president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."
"Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcomes 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," Pence wrote.
He appeared to be alluding to Trump pressuring him to intervene in the presidential election certification process as the leader tried to overturn the November polls in which Democrat Joe Biden triumphed.
Pence warned that using that amendment, created after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and in the midst of the Cold War to protect the government in case of removal, death, resignation or inability of the president to do his job, "would set a terrible precedent."
"I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment," added Pence, and asked all to work together "to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden."
"I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God," he concluded.
Some Republicans such as No. 3 in the House, Liz Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, had earlier said they would vote to impeach Trump.
"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," she said. "There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection."
Hours earlier, in a speech during his visit to the Mexico border wall, Trump said that there is "zero risk" that he will be removed by the Democrats.
"The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for," Trump said, without clarifying.
"The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time," he added.
After the assault on the Capitol, which resulted in five deaths, Washington will be reinforced with around 15,000 members of the National Guard for Biden's open-air inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
Democrats will seek Wednesday to accuse the president of the charge of "inciting insurrection," an effort that has won the support of at least four Republican legislators: Adam Kizinger, a congressman from Illinois; Liz Cheney, congresswoman from Wyoming; John Katko, Congressman from New York; and Fred Upton, Congressman from Michigan.
The process, started Monday in the Lower House, promises to force the Senate to subject Trump to a political trial that will take place when Biden is already in power, and will not have as its main objective the removal of the president but his possible disqualification from holding future office. EFE-EPA
Trump: New impeachment proceedings against me are ridiculous
Washington, Jan 12 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he thinks the new impeachment proceedings against him launched by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives are "absolutely ridiculous" and are causing "tremendous danger" to the country and "tremendous anger."
He did not specify the danger or say who was angry.
Trump made his remarks to reporters at the White House shortly before traveling to Texas, where he will visit the site of construction on a portion of the border wall, amid political tension throughout the country after the chaotic invasion of the Capitol last week by a violent mob of his supporters.
The president told the media that "We want absolutely no violence. And on the impeachment it's really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. It's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous."
"This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and you're doing it and it's really a terrible thing that they're doing," he said, his remarks being the first public comments he has made since the deadly assault on the Capitol in which five people died, including a Capitol police officer.
Democrats have said that they will accuse the president of "inciting insurrection" for stirring up a large group of his supporters at a White House rally and urging them to march on Congress, saying that he would accompany them, whereupon the enraged mob set out - without Trump - and forced their way into the Capitol as lawmakers were proceeding with certifying President-elect Joe Biden's Nov. 3 election victory.
The violence, chaos and mayhem delayed that vote for several hours and made many lawmakers fear for their lives.
When asked by reporters if he is considering resigning, as Democratic lawmakers have called for, Trump sidestepped giving a direct response, saying only "I want no violence."
The US is going through an unprecedented period of political convulsion and turmoil after Trump egged on the MAGA mob to demonstrate their strength and assault the Capitol to disrupt the election certification proceedings.
Trump has incessantly claimed that only massive election fraud denied him reelection, asserting that Democrats were trying to "steal" the election and put Biden into office illegally.
He expressed no remorse for his remarks to the gigantic crowd before they moved on the Capitol, saying that "People thought that what I said was totally appropriate," although, again, he did not say which people.
Trump will leave office on Jan. 20 and Biden will be inaugurated amid heavy security measures.