Update (1800ET): Speaker Pelosi has decided she wants the last word before the evening news shows begin and has released the following statement reiterating - once again - the exact same threats/promises she delivered earlier:
Pelosi Statement Following Virtual Meeting of the House Democratic Caucus Washington, D.C. Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement following a virtual meeting of the House the House Democratic Caucus this afternoon:
"Today, the House Democratic Caucus had an hours-long conversation that was sad, moving and patriotic. It was a conversation unlike any other, because it followed an action unlike any other.
It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign. But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin's 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment.
Accordingly, the House will preserve every option including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment.
With great respect, our deliberations will continue."
...and so we wait.
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Update (1635ET): A few minutes after the Democrats' articles of impeachment were leaked (well timed ahead of the evening news cycle) and after President-Elect Biden would not be drawn on whether this decision was a good idea with only days in President Trump's term to go, The White House has issued a brief statement claiming that the impeachment article that may be brought against President Trump is “politically motivated”
"As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one Nation.
A politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country."
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Update (1615ET): NBC News reports that they have received a draft of the articles of impeachment that Democrats are planning to bring on Monday. The articles reportedly claim that Trump "engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting insurrection."
"President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government," the draft said.
"He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinated branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
"Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law," the draft continued.
"President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States."
Presumably, this is very different from what Maxine Waters demanded of her supporters:
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Update (1400ET): House Democrats plan to introduce new articles of impeachment against President Trump on Monday, Reuters reports.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Pelosi told Democrats in call that a top military official assured her safeguards are in place if President Trump initiates a nuclear strike, according to an aide who was on the call.
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Update (1205ET): House Speaker Pelosi just cranked up the crazy to '11' by making the news cycle focus on President Trump's use of nukes before he leaves. She just issued this statement:
Preventing an Unhinged President From Using the Nuclear Codes:
This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.
The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.
Interestingly, there was no mention of what response she got from General Milley!
However, she does seem ok with allowing President-Elect Biden - who frequently forgot what state he was in, lashed out at reporters, and called voters 'fat liars' and 'dog-faced pony soldiers' - to have his hand on the trigger.
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Update (0815ET): With the 25th Amendment out the window, Congressional Democrats are moving on to door #2 - impeachment. According to CNN, Democrats may vote on impeachment as soon as the middle of next week.
According to the report, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team are working out a "lightning-quick impeachment process," according to "multiple Democratic sources."
"This is urgent -- this is an emergency of the highest magnitude," Pelosi told reporters on Thursday, adding "My phone has been exploding with 'impeach, impeach, impeach.'"
Pelosi and her leadership team spoke Thursday night about whether to hold a quick impeachment vote, and the overwhelming sentiment was to move ahead, according to multiple sources. While there were some dissenters concerned that the move could be perceived as an overreach and turn off Trump supporters in their districts, the view among most top Democrats -- including Pelosi -- is that Trump should be held accountable for his actions.The full Democratic caucus will speak Friday at 12 p.m. ET.Moving ahead with impeachment, of course, doesn't mean Congress would be able to remove Trump from office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could let the clock run out and not hold an impeachment trial in his chamber given that President-elect Joe Biden will be President on January 20. -CNN
President-elect Joe Biden, meanwhile, has "no appetite" for opening an impeachment proceeding according to the report, and prefers to focus on taking office in less than two weeks.
"Impeachment would not help unify this country," said someone close to Biden, who added that "this is a matter to be decided by the Congress."
House Democrats will hold their first full-caucus since Wednesday's mayhem at the US Capitol, when a group of protesters broke inside and a Trump supporter was shot dead by Capitol police.
This call, scheduled for noon ET, will be an important moment in terms of what's going to transpire over the next two weeks. While House Democrat after House Democrat has backed a second impeachment, the caucus itself hasn't gathered since the dramatic events transpired. The call will be the first opportunity for lawmakers to talk to leadership about the impeachment issue, the 25th Amendment issue and significant security concerns related to the Capitol.Indeed, given the tight timeline, it isn't possible to launch a formal impeachment inquiry like in 2019, an arduous undertaking that took several months.
And just like last time, more political theater.
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Update (1800ET): In a none too surprising move, Business Insider reports that, despite the growing bipartisan chorus for a last-minute change at the very top of the American government, Vice President Mike Pence doesn't support removing President Donald Trump from office via the 25th Amendment.
"Not happening," said a Republican close to Pence when asked about growing calls for him to replace Trump.
So... impeachment it is then? Nancy, do you feel lucky?
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Update (1410ET): Nancy Pelosi has joined Chuck Schumer in calling for 25th Amendment to remove Trump who "incited an armed insurrection against America."
Speaking at the same time as Joe Biden, who was revealing more members of his cabinet, and revealilng just how much respect she has for the president elect, Pelosi said that "If the vice president and the cabinet do not act the congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment," she says during a press conference.
"Yesterday the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America," she said adding that "in calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation."
BREAKING: Nancy Pelosi calls for the 25th Amendment to be invoked by Mike Pence to remove Donald Trump from office.— Bloomberg (@business) January 7, 2021
She says Congress is prepared to proceed with impeachment if it is not https://t.co/FSUmVKeupb pic.twitter.com/Tu8lKEiHmw
Pelosi also called Trump a "very dangerous person", said that "this is an emergency of the highest magnitude" and added that "our Democracy is at risk if action is ignored."
House Speaker Pelosi calls President Trump "a very dangerous person who should not continue in office."— The Recount (@therecount) January 7, 2021
She asks Sec. of State Pompeo and Treasury Sec. Mnuchin why they won't invoke the 25th Amendment: "Is it about success in business later?" pic.twitter.com/zBmh0hJkfl
She concluded that if the 25th amendment is not invoked my Mike Pence, Congress is prepared to proceed with impeachment.
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New articles of impeachment against President Trump introduced by Rep. David Cicilline seek not only to remove him from office for the very short remainder of his term - they would block him from ever running for office again.
According to the articles, President Trump's insistence that he won the election by a "landslide" and other statements "encouraged - and foreseeably resulted in - imminent lawless action at the Capitol" on Wednesday.
Trump's behavior "warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States."
Worth noting: They seek not only to remove Trump from office, but also to bar him from ever running again.— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) January 7, 2021
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Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, and incoming Senate majority leader after the Dems victory in the Georgia runoffs, called for Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office, saying that the outgoing president was directly responsible for Wednesday's riot in the Capitol.
In a statement, Schumer said Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the Constitution’s 25th amendment, using support of the cabinet to take over in the Oval Office until Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20.
"What happened at the US Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president," said Schumer. "This president should not hold office one day longer."
“If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” Schumer added.
The quickest and most effective way—it can be done today—to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 7, 2021
If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress must reconvene to impeach President Trump.
And indicating that this is not just a frivolous tweet by Schumer, and that Democrats plan on pushing for this until completion, Nancy Pelosi is holding a 1pm presser in which we expect the topic of Trump's prompt removal to be the main topic of discussion.