Washington: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named a Maryland Democrat grieving his son’s recent death as leader of the nine House Democrats who would prosecute US President Donald Trump during his expected Senate impeachment trial.
The team includes three women, four people of colour and lawmakers from states stretching from Rhode Island to California. Rep. Jamie Raskin will be the lead manager. The 58-year-old has often been an energetic presence during floor debates and taught constitutional law for 25 years. His 25-year-old son died of suicide on New Year’s Eve.
Other managers will be Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island; Joaquin Castro of Texas, Eric Swalwell of California, Ted Lieu of California, Joe Neguse of Colorado and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and Stacey Plaskett, the Democratic delegate from the Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence has ruled out using the 25th Amendment to remove outgoing President Donald Trump.
According to reports, Pence told the House leaders on Tuesday that he does not support invoking the 25th Amendment process to remove Donald Trump, all but guaranteeing an imminent impeachment vote against the president.
“With just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment,” Pence wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, referring to the process that would declare Trump unable to fulfill his duties and install Pence as acting president for the remainder of the term.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he said, hours before the House was to vote on a measure calling on him to initiate the 25th Amendment process or risk an impeachment vote against Trump.
This came as the US House pressed forward toward impeaching President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol attack, taking time only to try to persuade his vice president to push him out first. Trump, however, showed no remorse, blaming impeachment for the tremendous anger? in America.
Already scheduled to leave office next week, Trump is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be twice impeached. His incendiary rhetoric at a rally ahead of the Capitol uprising is now in the impeachment charge against him, even as the falsehoods he spread about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.
As lawmakers reconvened at the Capitol for the first time on Tuesday since the bloody siege, they were also bracing for more violence ahead of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, January 20.
“All of us have to do some soul searching,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., during a House rules debate, pleading for a change of heart among colleagues still backing Trump.
Two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and John Katko of New York became the first to announce they would vote to impeach Trump.
“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. Trump, meanwhile, warned the lawmakers off impeachment and suggested it was the drive to oust him that was dividing the country.
“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said.
In his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence, the outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, ‘I want no violence.’
Trump is being charged with incitement of insurrection over the attack at the Capitol last week. Democrats plan to push an impeachment resolution through the House on Wednesday, with modest GOP support.