The House of Representatives is set to vote on Wednesday on whether or not to impeach Donald Trump just seven days before Joe Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly informed members of Congress in a private call on Monday that they will need to come back to the Capitol on Tuesday night, according to Politico. If Trump refuses to resign and Vice President Mike Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment, impeachment is scheduled for consideration at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
On Monday, key members of the House Judiciary Committee introduced a single article of impeachment, and it has already gathered at least 218 cosponsors. This comes days after supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building in protest over the election results.
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“Because the timeframe is so short and the need is so immediate and an emergency, we will also proceed on a parallel path in terms of impeachment,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters on Monday. “Whether impeachment can pass the United States Senate is not the issue.”
Once the House has voted, the articles of impeachment are expected to move immediately to the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has suggested that a trial there likely won’t start until the upper chamber returns on January 19. However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is trying to reconvene the chamber under emergency powers that were given to Senate leaders in 2004, as a way to move immediately to an impeachment trial.
Democrats have been rallying behind the idea of sending the articles of impeachment immediately.
“I think we should pass it and the Senate should take it up immediately,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a lead author of the impeachment resolution. “This is urgent. This president represents a real danger to our democracy.”
Biden said on Monday that he has talked to members of both chambers about a potential plan to “bifurcate” the Senate proceedings.
“We need to take very seriously what happened … Hours and days matter,” sad Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA). “I wish we could just hold our breath” for 10 days. “But I don’t think we should or can afford to. I think we’ve seen that our nation and our homeland is in danger.”
“I’ve heard a lot of people say, Is it the right thing politically to impeach this president? … Will it harm the Democratic Party?” added Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI). “In terms of whether it could harm the Democratic Party, I could not care less.”
In a letter sent out to Democrats on Sunday night laying out the next steps of impeachment, Pelosi wrote, “In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both.”