House considers 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office; Pence says he won’t invoke

The U.S. house rushed ahead Tuesday to indict President Donald Trump of the deadly Capitol attack and took time to convince its vice president to postpone him first. Trump showed no remorse and blamed the impeachment itself for the "enormous anger" in America. Trump is slated to step down as early as next week and is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be tried twice. His incendiary rhetoric at a pre-Capitol riot rally is now on impeachment charges, although the lies he spread about electoral fraud are still championed by some Republicans. The House met Tuesday evening to vote on urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump in a cabinet vote. But shortly before that, Pence said in a letter to House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi that he would not do this. He said it was not in the nation's best interests or in accordance with the constitution and that it was "time to unite our country as we prepare for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden." Meanwhile, three Republican lawmakers, including the third, Liz Cheney, the GOP leader of the Wyoming House of Representatives, announced she would vote against Trump on Wednesday and split the party's leadership. "The President of the United States called this mob, gathered the mob and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney said in a statement. "There has never been a major betrayal of his office and his oath on the Constitution by a President of the United States." New York Rep. John Katko, a former federal attorney, and Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Air Force veteran, said they too would vote for charges. When lawmakers gathered at the Capitol for the first time since the bloody siege, they also prepared for more violence ahead of the inauguration of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. "We all have to search for souls," said Maryland Democratic MP Jamie Raskin, who is begging other Republicans to join. Video: Get the Facts: How the 25th Amendment Works Trump, meanwhile, cautioned lawmakers against impeachment, suggesting that it was the urge to oust him that divided the country. "To continue down this path, I think this is an enormous threat to our country and it is causing enormous trouble," Trump said. In his first remarks to reporters since last week's violence, the outgoing president offered no condolences to the dead or injured, simply saying, “I don't want violence.” First, urging Pence and the cabinet to remove Trump faster and more safely, and warned him that he posed a threat to democracy in the few days remaining in his presidency. The House should pass a resolution calling on Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare the President incapacitated. Pence, who had a "good meeting" with Trump on Monday for the first time since the Vice President was among those defending himself from the attack, was not expected. Thereafter, the House would quickly move to impeachment on Wednesday a single charge – "incitement to insurrection" – in the impeachment decision following the deadliest and deadliest domestic incursion into the Capitol in the nation's history. During an emotional pre-House action debate, Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., Urged her Republican counterparts to understand the stakes, and told of a phone call her son made when she fled during the siege. "Honey, I'm fine," she said to him. "I'm running for my life." But Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a top Trump ally honored at the White House this week, refused to admit that Biden won the election immediately. Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, D. -Mass., Linked such a conversation with the attack on the Capitol, throwing in, "People came here because they believed the lie." A handful of other House Republicans could vote for an indictment, but two-thirds of the votes in the tightly-divided Senate are not expected to condemn him, although some Republicans say it is time for Trump to step down. The Unprecedented Events Are Over A week before Trump's tenure unfolds in a nation gearing up for further unrest. The FBI issued ominous warnings of possible armed protests by Trump loyalists in Washington and many states before Biden's inauguration, and the Capitol Police warned lawmakers to be on alert. The dedication ceremony on the west steps of the Capitol is not open to the public. Legislators have to go through metal detectors to get into the chamber of the house, not far from where the Capitol police, guns drawn, barricaded the door against the rioters. The final days of Trump's presidency will be like no other than Democrats, with a small number of Republicans trying to evict him after he instigated the mob that ransacked the Capitol last Wednesday. A Capitol police officer died as a result of the riot and police shot and killed a woman during the violence. Three other people died in medical emergencies. In the Senate, Republican Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania and GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska called on Trump to "leave as soon as possible" over the weekend. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, didn't go that far, but on Tuesday urged Trump to turn to the nation and specifically urge his supporters to refrain from further violence. If not, he said, "Trump will be responsible." No cabinet member has publicly called for Trump to be removed from office by the 25th amendment. Biden said it was important to ensure that the "people who riot and threaten life, deface public property, cause great harm – that they are held accountable." The president-elect fends off concerns about impeachment Biden's first few days in office, and encourages Senators to split their time between including his priorities in validating his candidates and approving COVID aid while also executing Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, suggested in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday that the chamber would do both. When Congress resumed, unease swept the halls. Other lawmakers tested positive for COVID-19 after being protected during the siege. Many lawmakers may choose to vote by proxy rather than coming to Washington. This process was introduced last year to limit the health risks of travel. Among Trump's closest allies in Congress, Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy was a supporter of the president, who said "impeachment at this point would have the opposite effect of bringing our country together." Democrats say they have the vote for impeachment. The impeachment bill drafted by Reps David Cicilline from Rhode Island and Ted Lieu from California during the counterinsurgency with Raskin from Maryland and Jerrold Nadler from New York is based on Trump's own false statements about his electoral defeat by Biden. Judges across the country, including some Trump nominees, have repeatedly dismissed cases that have questioned election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, an ally of Trump, said there was no evidence of widespread fraud. The impeachment bill also describes Trump's pressure on Georgia state officials to "find" him more votes, as well as his pre-Capitol siege rally at the White House where he encouraged thousands of supporters to "fight like hell" last Wednesday The mob overwhelmed police, broke security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to disperse as they completed Biden's victory over Trump on the electoral college. While some have questioned the charges against the president shortly before the end of his term in office, there are precedents. In 1876, under the Ulysses Grant Administration, Secretary of War William Belknap was indicted on the day of his resignation from the House, and the Senate convened months later. He was acquitted. Associate press writers Alan Fram, Jill Colvin, Ellen Knickmeyer, and Bill Barrow contributed to this report.

The U.S. House rushed ahead Tuesday to indict President Donald Trump of the deadly attack on the Capitol. It just took time to convince his vice president to postpone him first.

Trump showed no remorse, blaming the impeachment itself for the "enormous anger" in America.

Trump is slated to step down as early as next week and is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be tried twice. His incendiary rhetoric at a pre-Capitol riot rally is now on impeachment charges, although the lies he spread about electoral fraud are still championed by some Republicans.

The House met on Tuesday evening to vote on Vice President Mike Pence's request to invoke the 25th amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump in a cabinet vote. But shortly before that, Pence said in a letter to House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi that he would not do this.

He said it was not in the nation's best interests or in accordance with the constitution and that it was "time to unite our country as we prepare for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden."

Meanwhile, three Republican lawmakers, including third-tier GOP chairman of the House of Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, announced that they would vote against Trump on Wednesday to divide the party's leadership.

"The President of the United States called this mob, gathered the mob and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney said in a statement. "There has never been a major betrayal of his office and his oath on the Constitution by a President of the United States."

New York Rep. John Katko, a former federal attorney, and Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Air Force veteran, said they too would vote for charges.

When lawmakers gathered at the Capitol for the first time since the bloody siege, they also prepared for more violence ahead of the inauguration of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.

"We all need to search for souls," Maryland Democratic MP Jamie Raskin said, imploring other Republicans to join.

Video: Get the Facts: How the 25th Amendment Works

Trump, meanwhile, warned lawmakers against impeachment, suggesting it was the urge to oust him that divides the country.

"In order to continue down this path, I think that this poses a tremendous threat to our country and an enormous anger," said Trump.

In his first remarks to reporters since last week's violence, the outgoing president offered no condolences to the dead or injured, simply saying, "I don't want violence."

Prior to impeachment, the House first urged Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump faster and more safely, warning that he posed a threat to democracy in the few days remaining in his presidency.

The House was expected to pass a resolution calling on Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare the President incapacitated. Pence, who had a "good meeting" with Trump on Monday, was not expected to do so for the first time since the Vice President was among those defending themselves from the attack.

After that, the house would quickly move to impeachment on Wednesday.

Trump faces a single charge in the impeachment ruling following the deadliest and deadliest domestic incursion into the Capitol in the nation's history – "incitement to rebellion".

During an emotional debate prior to the House of Representatives action, Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., Urged her Republican counterparts to understand the operations and told of a phone call her son gave when she escaped during the siege.

"Honey, I'm fine," she said to him. "I'm running for my life."

But Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a top Trump ally who was honored at the White House just this week, refused to admit that Biden won the election outright.

Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Linked such a conversation to the attack on the Capitol, throwing in, "People came here because they believed the lie."

A handful of other House Republicans could vote for an indictment, but two-thirds of the votes in the tightly-divided Senate are not expected to condemn him, although some Republicans say it is time for Trump to step down.

The unprecedented events, with just over a week in Trump's tenure, are unfolding in a nation gearing up for further turmoil. The FBI issued ominous warnings of possible armed protests by Trump loyalists in Washington and many states before Biden's inauguration, and the Capitol Police warned lawmakers to be on alert. The dedication ceremony on the west steps of the Capitol is not open to the public.

Legislators have to go through metal detectors to get into the chamber of the house, not far from where the Capitol police, guns drawn, barricaded the door against the rioters.

The final days of Trump's presidency will be like no other than Democrats, with a small number of Republicans trying to evict him after he instigated the mob that ransacked the Capitol last Wednesday.

A Capitol police officer died as a result of the riot and police shot and killed a woman during the violence. Three other people died in medical emergencies.

In the Senate, Republican Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania and GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska called on Trump to "leave as soon as possible" over the weekend.

Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, didn't go that far, but on Tuesday urged Trump to turn to the nation and specifically urge his supporters to refrain from further violence. If not, he said, "Trump will be responsible."

No cabinet member has publicly called for Trump to be removed from office by the 25th amendment.

Biden has said it is important to ensure that "the people who riot and threaten life, deface public property, do great harm – that they are held accountable".

The president-elect has fought off concerns that an impeachment trial could affect Biden's early days in office and encourages senators to split their time between including his priorities in confirming his candidates and approving the COVID relief while serving the Process.

Democratic Senate Chairman Chuck Schumer suggested in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday that the chamber would do both.

When Congress resumed, unease swept the halls. Other lawmakers tested positive for COVID-19 after being protected during the siege. Many lawmakers may choose to vote by proxy rather than coming to Washington. This process was introduced last year to limit the health risks of travel.

Among Trump's closest allies in Congress, Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy was a supporter of the president, who said "impeachment at this point would have the opposite effect of bringing our country together."

Democrats say they have the vote for impeachment. The impeachment bill drafted by Reps David Cicilline from Rhode Island and Ted Lieu from California during the counterinsurgency with Raskin from Maryland and Jerrold Nadler from New York is based on Trump's own false statements about his electoral defeat by Biden.

Judges across the country, including some Trump nominees, have repeatedly dismissed cases that have questioned election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, an ally of Trump, said there was no evidence of widespread fraud.

The impeachment bill also describes Trump's pressure on Georgia state officials to "find" him more votes, as well as his pre-Capitol siege rally at the White House where he encouraged thousands of supporters to "fight like hell" last Wednesday to march to the building.

The mob overwhelmed police, broke security lines and windows and raged through the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to disperse as they completed Biden's victory over Trump on the electoral college.

While some have questioned the charges against the president shortly before the end of his term in office, there are precedents. In 1876, under the Ulysses Grant Administration, Secretary of War William Belknap was indicted on the day of his resignation from the House, and the Senate convened months later. He was acquitted.

___

Associate press writers Alan Fram, Jill Colvin, Ellen Knickmeyer, and Bill Barrow contributed to this report.

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