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Pelosi hell-bent on Trump impeachment amid division among Democrats

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Supporters of US President Donald Trump storm the US Capitol Building in Washington, US, on January 6, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

US Democrats in the House of Representatives are scrambling to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday unless he is removed or steps down, after accusing him of inciting “insurrection” ahead of last week's deadly assault on the US Capitol.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the chamber would take up impeachment on Wednesday if Vice President Mike Pence does not invoke the US Constitution's 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

Passage would make Trump, a Republican, the only president in US history to be impeached twice.

A Senate conviction would remove Trump from office and could also bar him from holding public office again as he is seeking a potential 2024 presidential bid.

The proceeding is, however, unlikely to be completed before Trump's term expires in nine days.

Some Republicans have called the impeachment, days before Trump's term ends, “a grave error”, saying it would dilute the meaning of that important constitutional provision forever.

US Representative Tom Reed, a moderate Republican, said Congress should also examine ways to bar Trump from ever holding public office again.

He called for a censure resolution against Trump on Tuesday as an alternative to a "rushed" impeachment.

The resolution would ask Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows a vice president and the Cabinet to remove a president who is incapable of fulfilling his duties.

Pence advisers said he opposed invoking the 25th Amendment, which has never been used.

Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, called the impeachment drive "ill-advised", saying he saw no path to a conviction in the Senate.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told furious Democratic members on Monday that a censure would be an "abdication of our responsibility."

"Trump represents an imminent threat to our constitution, our country and the American people, and he must be removed from office immediately," Pelosi said.

US Democrats introduced an impeachment charge against Trump on Monday, accusing him of "insurrection" after thousands of his supporters stormed the seat of Congress last Wednesday in a harrowing assault that left five Americans dead.

The US president had urged supporters to march on the Capitol as he repeated claims that the Nov. 3 election was rigged against him.

Trump has acknowledged a new administration would take office on Jan. 20 but has still not conceded that he lost the election to Biden.


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