Trump Facing 'Incitement of Insurrection' Impeachment Charge From House Democrats (UPDATE)

Donald Trump faces the single charge of "incitement of insurrection" for his role in inciting last week's deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol building.

This is a photo of Donald Trump

Image via Getty/Anadolu Agency

This is a photo of Donald Trump

UPDATED 1/12, 8:11 p.m. ET: Mike Pence will not invoke the 25th amendment to remove Donald Trump from office.

The outgoing vice president rejected the calls in a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, just eight days before Trump will leave the White House.

"I do not believe such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution," Pence wrote. "Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation ...

"I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment. Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden ... I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me god."

Here is @VP’s full letter to @SpeakerPelosi telling her he will not invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office.

Pence said the amendment is “not a means of punishment or usurpation” and would set a “terrible precedent” if he used it.

— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) January 13, 2021

UPDATED 1/12, 5:13 p.m. ET: According to the New York Times, Senator Mitch McConnell reportedly believes President Trump's offenses are indeed impeachable. McConnell is said to believe that that impeaching Trump would be a good way to purge him from the Republican party, while House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has apparently asked his fellow lawmakers if he should ask Trump to resign.

Meanwhile, reports that Rep. John Katko will vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday, becoming the first Republican to openly support impeachment.

“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said in a statement. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president.”

Rep. Liz Cheney also said she would vote to impeach Trump, per CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

Liz Cheney: "The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President...I will vote to impeach the President."

— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 12, 2021

See original story below.

House Democrats are rolling out their formal plan to impeach Donald Trump on Monday, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in last week's deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol building. 

The single impeachment article will be introduced in the House at 11 a.m. EST, and cites Trump's repeated false election fraud claims and his speech on Jan. 6, where he encouraged the rioters to march to the Capitol. Five people died during the violent attack. 

It also refers to Trump's call with Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who Trump asked to "find" enough votes to steal the state away from President-elect Joe Biden. 

"In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government," the resolution states according to CNN. "He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."

The resolution is the first step in the impeachment process, before the House hold a vote later this week. The process marks Trump's second impeachment, making him the first president in history to be impeached twice. 

The resolution also cited the Constitution's 14th amendment, noting that it "prohibits any person who has 'engaged in insurrection or rebellion against' the United States" from holding office. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously threatened to impeach Trump if he did not reign or if Vice President Mike Pence failed to invoke the 25th amendment. Over the weekend she confirmed the House's plan to move forward with the impeachment proceedings.

"Well, sadly, the person that's running the Executive Branch is a deranged, unhinged, and dangerous president of the United States, with only a number of days until we can be protected from him," Pelosi said during a 60 Minutes interview. "But he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him."

Meanwhile, Trump is busy trying to figure out how to punish Silicon Valley after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in the wake of last week's violent incident. Per CNN, Trump wants to use some kind of executive action to enact his revenge, but it's unclear what that measure would look like.

Impeachment is the first step in removing a sitting official from office. Trump was first impeached in 2019 by House Democrats following an investigation into his attempts to influence the 2020 election. As Vox points out, following an impeachment, which charges a public official of high crimes and misdemeanors, it is up to the Senate to decide whether or not to remove that person from office. 

So if Trump were to be impeached, how would that affect his future political career? While a tweet went viral over the weekend suggesting that he’d face multiple penalties including losing his presidential pension and benefits, those claims were later corrected. 

So I spoke to Ben Costiloe, tweeter of the inaccurate mega-viral impeachment tweet, to tell him it was wrong and that I'd be doing a fact check. He said good-naturedly: "Tear it a new one. Go for it, baby!" He said he's just a "nobody" dude who saw the info on his FB feed. 1/

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 11, 2021

Costiloe said he never knew if the info he tweeted was true - it just showed up on his Facebook and "made me feel good," and he thought he'd share. He said, "I don't want to mess up the world. I just wanted to make me feel good. It turns out it made a lot of people feel good." 2/

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 11, 2021

Costiloe said he had just 200 followers at the time he tweeted (now more than 2,700); he's just a guy living with diabetes in Texas. He said he was amazed at how viral the tweet went given his low following: 181,000 retweets and counting. 3/

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 11, 2021

When I asked if he'd delete the tweet now that he knows it had a bunch of inaccuracies, he said, "I'm too stupid to know how to fix this."

So...that is the story of how bad info got seen by millions of people in 2021. The end.

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 11, 2021

Under the Constitution, “judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”

That means that in addition to removing Trump from office, impeachment could only further punish the president by preventing him from holding future office. This option may be appealing to Senate Republicans as a chance to prevent Trump from running in the 2024 presidential election. 

Of all the public officials who have ever been impeached, only three have ever been banned from holding future office.

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