House Democrats are planning to introduce an impeachment resolution on Monday, a move that would allow Democrats to fast-track an impeachment vote next week, though Democrats have not committed yet to holding such a vote. The latest draft of the impeachment resolution, obtained by CNN, includes one article of impeachment for “incitement of insurrection.”
But Democrats are cognizant of the fact they have little time to force Trump out of office and moving forward with impeachment could force the Senate to hold an impeachment trial in the first days of the new Biden administration, which would amount to a major distraction from the new President’s ambitious new agenda.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus on a call Friday afternoon that she prefers Trump resigning or Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from power. But she made clear that if that does not happen, impeachment is another option. There is more backing within the House Democratic caucus for impeaching Trump now than there was in 2019 when Trump was first impeached, Pelosi said, according to multiple sources on the call.
“The President chose to be an insurrectionist,” Pelosi said, according to one source said. “How we go forward is a subject for this caucus.”
Pelosi began the call solemn and emotional about the events that have transpired over the last 72 hours. She did not give a sense of timing or details on potential articles of impeachment, but she made clear the House has the power to impeach even with less than two weeks left in Trump’s term. Democrats also discussed the possibility of creating a commission to examine Trump’s fitness for office through the 25th Amendment, an option that could be used as an alternative to impeachment.
As Pelosi and her leadership team ran through their options Thursday night, the overwhelming sentiment was that impeachment was the way forward, according to multiple sources. While there were some dissenters concerned that the move could be perceived as an overreach and turn off Trump supporters in their districts, the view among most top Democrats — including Pelosi — is that Trump should be held accountable for his actions.