Pelosi seeks to curb 'unhinged' Trump's nuclear power, plans to impeach

US President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photos: Reuters
US President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photos: Reuters
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday called on President Donald Trump to resign and Twitter permanently suspended his account citing a risk that he could incite more violence, two days after a crowd of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an assault on American democracy.

Pelosi said if Trump did not resign, she had instructed the House Rules Committee to move forward with a motion for impeachment and legislation on the U.S. Constitution's 25th Amendment, which provides for removal of a president who is unable to discharge his official duties.

"Accordingly, the House will preserve every option – including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment," Pelosi said in a statement after a three-hour meeting with House Democrats. "With great respect, our deliberations will continue."

Twitter Inc said it would permanently suspend Trump's account because of the risk of further incitement.

"After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence," the company said.

The extraordinary developments came two days after Trump exhorted thousands of followers to march to the Capitol, prompting a chaotic scene in which crowds breached the building, forced the evacuation of both chambers and left a police officer and four others dead in their wake.

Democrats, who said a House vote on impeachment could come next week, hope the impeachment threat can intensify pressure on Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment before Trump's term ends in less than two weeks.

Pelosi called Trump "unhinged" on Friday and said Congress must do everything possible to protect Americans, even though Trump's term in office will end on Jan. 20 when Biden is sworn in.

But it is unclear whether lawmakers would be able to remove Trump from office, as any impeachment would prompt a trial in the Senate, where his fellow Republicans still hold power.

Articles of impeachment, which are formal charges of misconduct, have been crafted by Democratic Representatives David Cicilline, Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin.

A copy circulating among members of Congress charges Trump with "inciting violence against the government of the United States" in a bid to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

The articles also cite Trump's hour-long phone call last week with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump asked the official to "find" enough votes to overturn Biden's victory in that state.

Lieu said on Twitter the draft had 150 co-sponsors.

Two-thirds of the Senate must vote to convict for removal.

Law professor Brian Kalt said on Twitter that Pelosi's call for legislation on the 25th Amendment is unlikely to happen before the end of Trump's presidency.

The 25th Amendment allows Congress to establish a “body” that can, with the support of the vice president, declare the president unable to do the job. But Trump has the power to block the legislation necessary to create such a commission.

And Pence is opposed to the idea of using the amendment to remove Trump, an adviser said.

Pelosi said on Friday she had spoken with the nation's top general, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, about preventing Trump from initiating military hostilities or launching a nuclear weapon.

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