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Minggu, 10 Januari 2021

Nancy Pelosi to proceed with impeachment of Donald Trump unless Mike Pence invokes 25th amendment - SBS News

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday (local time) she would push ahead with efforts to remove President Donald Trump from office during the final days of his administration after his supporters' violent attack on the Capitol.

Ms Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said there would be a resolution in the House of Representatives on Monday calling for the cabinet to remove Mr Trump as unfit for office under the constitution's 25th amendment.

If Vice President Mike Pence does not agree, "we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation" to the floor of the House of Representatives, Ms Pelosi said.

"In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both," she said.

"As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action."

Mr Trump was already impeached once by the Democratic-controlled House - in December 2019 for pressuring the leader of Ukraine to dig up political dirt on Joe Biden.

He was acquitted by the Republican-majority Senate.

Though time is running short, Democrats likely have the votes in the House to impeach Mr Trump again and could even draw some Republican support for the move.

But they are unlikely to muster the two-thirds majority needed to convict Mr Trump in the 100-member Senate and remove him from office.

It comes as Donald Trump faced fresh calls from some members of his own party to resign over the violent incursion into the US Capitol, as the threat builds for a historic second impeachment effort in his final 10 days in the White House.

With the 20 January inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden fast approaching - and with the country hit by a surging pandemic, a flagging economy, and searing division - resignation "is the best path forward," Republican Senator Pat Toomey told CNN, adding, "That would be a very good outcome."

Mr Toomey said that since losing the 3 November election, Mr Trump had "descended into a level of madness and engaged in activity that was absolutely unthinkable, and unforgivable."

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the first Republican senator to urge Mr Trump's resignation, saying, "I want him out." House Republicans, including Adam Kinzinger on Sunday, have echoed that call.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities are continuing to seek Trump supporters who violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday after the president's repeated false claims that he had lost to Mr Biden due to fraud. Dozens have already been arrested.

Security has been stepped up in the aftermath of the attack. A two-meter tall black metal fence has been erected around the historic building. Extremists have threatened new action in coming days both in Washington and in state capitols.

A temporary fence and barricades are placed on Capitol Hill a day after Trump supporters stormed U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 7, 2021. Photo by Yuri Gripas/ABACAPRESS.COM.

A temporary fence and barricades are placed on Capitol Hill a day after Trump supporters stormed US Capitol in Washington.

AAP

Impeachment could still be circumvented by a Trump resignation or by resort to the constitution's 25th amendment, which would remove him from power but requires the assent of the vice president and most of the cabinet, making it unlikely.

One reason Democrats might pursue conviction, even after Mr Trump leaves office, is to prevent him ever being able to run again for federal office.

The president has so far resisted all talk of resignation, and is reportedly furious over Mr Pence's rejection of Mr Trump's vocal pressure to somehow intervene in Congress's confirmation on Wednesday of Mr Biden's election win.

Mr Trump has gone largely silent in recent days - making no statements and holding no news conferences. Twitter, his favored public platform, has banned him for language that could incite violence.

In an interview aired Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes," Ms Pelosi said, "I like the 25th Amendment, because it gets rid of him. He's out of office. But there’s strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time."

The Democratic-controlled House would be expected to approve the articles, but there were signs on Sunday that a Senate impeachment trial might not open for months.

Senate rules mean the upper chamber would likely be unable to open a trial before 19 January, and Mr Toomey said he was unsure it was constitutionally possible to impeach someone once out of office.

Democrats, for their part, expressed concern that a Senate trial would overshadow and hamper Mr Biden's efforts to quickly lay out his agenda, starting with the fight against the coronavirus and the need to support the economy.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a centrist Democrat whose vote could be crucial in the new, evenly divided Senate, told CNN an impeachment after 20 January "doesn't make any common sense whatsoever."

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2021-01-11 01:36:13Z
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