The Democrat-controlled House is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday to impeach President Trump based on the argument he encouraged supporters who last week stormed the U.S. Capitol Building.
If the effort is successful, it would mark the second time the House has impeached Trump, who has just seven days remaining in office. However, unlike the effort in 2019, House Democrats will proceed to a vote without the months of investigations and hearings.
“We must take action,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol. Democrats also argue they have enough evidence to proceed with the impeachment progress.
If passed, the articles of impeachment – based on the single charge of “incitement of insurrection” – would be sent to the GOP-controlled Senate for a trial. However, the Senate is not expected to hold a trial and vote on whether to convict Trump before Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as president Jan. 20, according to the Associated Press.
The Senate held such a trial in February 2020 and did not convict Trump.
In the House, five Republicans have said they would support impeachment. Among them are Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the chamber’s No. 3 Republican and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, the wire service also reports.
No Republicans supported Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.
New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach. Also saying they would vote for impeachment were Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, the wire service also reports.
Once the House passes the articles, Pelosi can decide when she sends them to the Senate. Under the current schedule, the Senate is not set to resume full sessions until Jan. 19, one day before Biden’s inauguration.
Right now, Democrats do not appear to have the two-thirds votes to find Trump guilty.
Some Democrats suggested Pelosi might wait to send the articles and allow Biden to begin his term without impeachment hanging over him. But many other Democrats have urged Pelosi to move immediately.