In an unprecedented assault on democracy in the US, thousands of supporters of outgoing President Trump stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday and clashed with police, resulting in four deaths and interrupting a constitutional process by Congress to affirm the victory of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the November 3 election.
In light of this, Democratic Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives have now said that the House could take up articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as soon as next week if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet don’t act to remove him.
Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark of Massachusetts said that the House “can use procedural tools to get articles of impeachment to the House floor quickly,” as early as the coming week, if Pence doesn’t invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, said that he can confirm that the Democratic Party "have had discussions about it.” The South Carolina Democrat added that he hopes Speaker Nancy Pelosi “would move forward if the vice president refuses to do what he is required to do under the Constitution."
"Everyone knows that this president is deranged,” he said.
The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare a president unfit for office. That section of the amendment has never been invoked.
On Thursday, Pelosi said the House could move on impeachment if Pence and the Cabinet don’t remove Trump before his term ends on January 20.
Pence hasn’t publicly addressed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment. But that possibility may have faded after two Cabinet members resigned Thursday in protest after Trump egged on protesters who then mounted an assault on the Capitol the day before.
Notably, Donald Trump, who is also facing pressure from the members of his Republican Party, has accepted the result of the election and pledged a smooth transition of power to Biden.
Biden will be sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20. Amidst the chaos and violence, US Congress on Thursday early morning verified the Electoral College victory of Biden and Harris.
Throughout Wednesday evening and into Thursday, Trump faced resignations from senior staffers and fresh efforts from Opposition Democrats interested in filing new articles of impeachment against the Republican president.
(With inputs from the Associated Press)