US House Democrats are prepared to move forward with impeachment proceedings against Republican President Donald Trump as early as next week following his supporters’ siege at the US Capitol, Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark said on Friday.
“Donald Trump needs to be removed from office and we are going to proceed with every tool that we have to make sure that that happens to protect our democracy,” Clark told CNN in an interview.
If Vice President Mike Pence does not invoke the US Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump, “we will move forward with impeachment.”
Amid mounting calls for his removal from office, Trump finally on Thursday denounced the violence that left five people dead, including a police officer. In a video released on Thursday evening, the Republican president called for reconciliation and also promised a smooth and orderly transition of power.
In the immediate aftermath of Wednesday’s assault, which halted a session of Congress held to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s election win, Trump had declined to condemn the protesters but told them he loved them and repeated his claim that he was being cheated of victory.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which allows them to strip the president of his powers if he cannot discharge the duties of his office. Pence opposes the idea, an adviser said.