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'Go as soon as possible' - Pressure grows on Pence to push Trump from office

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Outgoing US President Donald Trump has come under
increasing pressure

Outgoing US President Donald Trump has come under increasing pressure

AP

Outgoing US President Donald Trump has come under increasing pressure

As Impeachment pressure mounts, the US House of Representatives worked swiftly yesterday to try to oust President Donald Trump from office, pushing the vice president and Cabinet to act first.

Trump faces a single charge - "incitement of insurrection" - in an impeachment resolution that could go to a vote by mid-week.

First, Democrats called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Mr Trump from office before January 20, when Democrat Joe Biden is to be inaugurated.

In all, these are stunning final moments for Mr Trump's presidency as Democrats and a growing number of Republicans declare that he is unfit for office and could do more damage after inciting a mob that ransacked the US Capitol in a deadly siege on Wednesday.

"President Trump gravely endangered the security of the US and its institutions of government," reads the four-page impeachment bill.

"He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office," it reads.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is recalling lawmakers to Washington for votes as more Republicans say it's time for Mr Trump to resign.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Mr Trump to "go away as soon as possible."

During an interview on 60 Minutes aired Sunday, Ms Pelosi invoked the Watergate era when Republicans in the Senate told president Richard Nixon: "It's over."

"That's what has to happen now," she said.

Yesterday, a House resolution calling on Mr Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Mr Trump from office was blocked by Republicans.

However, the full House is set to hold a roll call vote on that resolution today, and it is expected to pass.

After that, Ms Pelosi said Mr Pence will have 24 hours to respond.

Next, the House would proceed to impeachment. A vote could come tomorrow.

Mr Pence has given no indication he is ready to proceed on such a course.

The impeachment bill from Representatives David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of New York draws from Mr Trump's own false statements about his election defeat to Mr Biden.

Judges across the country, including some nominated by Mr Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases, and Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, has said there was no sign of widespread fraud.

The bill of impeachment details Mr Trump's pressure on state officials in Georgia to "find" him more votes and his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to "fight like hell" and march to the building.

The mob overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were finalising Mr Biden's victory over Mr Trump in the Electoral College.

Horror

"We will act with urgency, because this president represents an imminent threat," Ms Pelosi said in a letter late Sunday to colleagues.

"The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this president is intensified and so is the immediate need for action."

Mr Toomey said he doubted impeachment could be done before the inauguration, even though a growing number of lawmakers say that step is necessary to ensure Mr Trump can never hold elected office again.

"I think the president has disqualified himself from ever, certainly, serving in office again," Mr Toomey said. "I don't think he is electable in any way."


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