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US House of Representatives to consider Trump impeachment

Trump faces a charge of incitement of insurrection.

Image: PA

Updated Jan 11th 2021, 10:44 PM

DEMOCRATS HAVE SAID the House of Representatives will consider the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, one week after an angry mob of his supporters invaded the Capitol building in Washington DC.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a call that members should plan to return to Washington tomorrow evening to consider a House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office.

That resolution is expected to pass, but Pence is unlikely to act. Hoyer says the House will then consider impeachment on Wednesday.

House Democrats have moved quickly to draft an article of impeachment charging President Trump with incitement of insurrection because he egged on thousands of his supporters ahead of the riots by falsely telling them that the election was stolen from him.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team has also been seeking quick vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment.

However, the House resolution calling on Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office has been blocked by Republicans.

Pence has given no indication he is ready to proceed on such a course, which would involve invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, including a vote by a majority of the Cabinet to remove Trump before he leaves office on January 20.

The four-page impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden; his pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes; and his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the building on Wednesday.

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the legislation said.

This evening, the US State Department’s website appeared to prematurely say that President Donald Trump had left office, sending social media into a tailspin of questions over what happened.

“Donald J. Trump’s term ended 2021-01-11 19:49:00,” Trump’s official biography page said briefly on Monday before being taken down, with internet users instead seeing a message that there was a technical error.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a question on whether the incident was the result of hacking or a glitch.

But it appeared clear that Trump — who remains president on the White House website — had not found an uncharacteristically subtle way to quit through a hard-to-find page.

President-elect Joe Biden is due to be sworn in on January 20 at noon (1700 GMT) after defeating Trump in the election.

Elsewhere in Washington, acting US Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has resigned.

He resigned amid rising worries over the possibility of more violence during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, a DHS official said.

“The acting secretary is stepping down effective 11:59 tonight,” the official told AFP.

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He gave no reason for the resignation but said that Pete Gaynor, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, would take over.

Additional reporting by AFP.

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