WASHINGTON — As the House prepares for impeachment, President Donald Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — over the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a draft of the articles obtained by The Associated Press.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will proceed with legislation to impeach Trump as she pushes the vice president to invoke constitutional authority to force him out.
The House action could start as soon as Monday, and Politico reports that a House vote on the article could happen as soon as Wednesday. The president is holed up at the White House. A second Republican senator, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, is calling for Trump to resign.
Lawmakers warn of the damage the president can do before Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.
Calls for Trump's removal have been gaining strength since last Wednesday, when his supporters stormed the Capitol building in a riot that led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer.
The riots were sparked by Congress' rubber-stamp approval of the Electoral College vote — though Trump had called for lawmakers to use the ceremony to overturn the results of the election on the unproven basis of widespread voter fraud.
In a press conference on Friday, Pelosi called for Trump's removal from office ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 — whether through the 25th Amendment or impeachment. In an interview that aired Sunday, Pelosi told "60 Minutes" that she preferred Trump be removed through the 25th Amendment.
President-elect Joe Biden has sidestepped questions regarding Trump's removal but warns that Congress must be ready to consider legislation upon his inauguration — including a yet-to-be-unveiled COVID-19 stimulus package. The Senate would be unable to do so if they are mired in an impeachment trial.