Members of Congress are pursuing methods to force President Donald Trump to leave office and accuse Trump of inciting the deadly assault on the US Capitol on Wednesday in support of his false claims of election fraud. (Jan. 11)
JULIE PACE: As the days have gone by since the insurrection on Wednesday, it's just become clear how violent this was and how great the risk was to lawmakers. Their personal safety was really on the line here. And as that has become clear, their motivation to take some action has also grown. We have seen Democrats move forward with a couple of steps to try to remove Trump from office. We notably have also seen a few Republicans-- not many, but a few-- who have called for Trump to resign. They don't want to wait the 10 more days that they have to go through before he is out of power. They want to take some action now.
And so you see the House moving on two tracks which are linked. At first, they are going to ask Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. That is not something Congress can do on their own. That is something that they have to have the Vice President, along with members of the cabinet, do. At this point, we don't have an expectation that that will happen. We're told from sources that Mike Pence is not prepared to invoke the 25th Amendment. Though we are also told that he has not ruled it out completely.
If we don't get any action there, then the House will move forward with impeachment. And this will be very different than the impeachment that we saw a year ago. This is not going to be a lengthy process on the House floor. We're not going to see tons of witnesses called forward. Everyone knows what happened here. This all happened in public view. And so within the next few days, you should see the House vote to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection against Congress.
One thing that is being talked about is, could you pass a measure on the Hill to essentially prevent Trump from ever running again? He has flirted with the idea of running in 2024. That is also a long time away and we don't know what would really happen. But this would block that avenue. And that's something that could be both linked to impeachment but it also could be done separately. And that's one of the things that lawmakers are trying to sort through right now.