Democrats have at least 180 co-sponsors for articles of impeachment against President Trump and they plan to introduce the measure on Monday.
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office — an idea that Pence has reportedly rejected — she says the House will take action if Trump doesn’t resign.
“It is the hope of members that the president will immediately resign,” Pelosi said in a statement Saturday after an hours-long phone call with Democrats on impeachment. “But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) wrote Saturday on Twitter: “UPDATE to the update: We’ve just hit 180 cosponsors of the Article of Impeachment drafted by Rep @davidcicilline, @RepRaskin, me and @HouseJudiciary staff. We will introduce the Article of Impeachment this Monday during the House’s pro forma session.”
While it is not likely that Trump will be impeached and removed before noon on Jan. 20 — when president-elect Joe Biden will become the 46th president — if he were to be convicted in the Senate, he could never run for president again. Trump has repeatedly hinted that he may run in 2024.
Some Republicans also want Trump gone. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has called for Trump to be removed through the 25th Amendment, which allows the Cabinet to remove the president under extraordinary circumstances with the support of a supermajority of both the House and Senate. In the Senate, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said he would “definitely consider” impeachment articles if they pass the House. And moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) became the first Republican to call on the president to resign.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski said in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News. “I think he should leave. He said he’s not going to show up. He’s not going to appear at the inauguration. He hasn’t been focused on what is going on with COVID.”
But other Republicans are pushing against impeachment.
Seven House Republicans on Friday wrote a letter to Biden asking him to formally request that Pelosi halt the push to impeach Trump after Wednesday’s violent riot at the Capitol building.
The Republican lawmakers — Ken Buck (R-CO), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Chip Roy (R-TX), Kelly Armstong (R-ND), Nancy Mace (R-NC), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI), all of whom were in favor of certifying the electoral college votes on Jan. 6 — argued that the impeachment option in the Constitution was never intended to be used absent “adequate investigation and congressional hearings.”
The seven House Republicans argued in their letter to Biden that, under the present circumstances, pursuing impeachment would simply be too rushed. “This impeachment would undermine your priority of unifying Americans, and would be a further distraction to our nation at a time when millions of our fellow citizens are hurting because of the pandemic and the economic fallout,” they wrote.
“We respectfully urge you to encourage Speaker Pelosi to set aside this partisan effort immediately,” wrote the lawmakers.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story erred in identifying Thomas Massie’s and Chip Roy’s Congressional districts. Massie’s district is in Kentucky and Roy’s district is in Texas. The error has been corrected.