Democrats inch toward second Trump impeachment after Capitol siege
Congressional Democrats on Friday weighed impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time, two days after his false claims of election fraud helped encourage a mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Democratic leaders including House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for immediate impeachment proceedings if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s cabinet refused to take steps to remove Trump from power.
“The president’s dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office,” they said in a statement on Thursday evening, accusing Trump of inciting an “insurrection.”
As calls for his ouster mounted on Thursday, Trump released a video in which he denounced the violence that left five people dead.
The Republican president came the closest yet to conceding his loss in the Nov. 3 presidential election, promising to ensure a smooth transition to a “new administration”. President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, is set to be sworn in on Jan. 20.
Trump’s words were in stark contrast to his speech on Wednesday, when he exhorted a crowd of thousands to descend on the Capitol as Congress met to certify Biden’s election victory.
Rioters stormed the building, overwhelming police and forcing authorities to transport lawmakers to secure locations for their own safety.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries sustained in the assault, the force said late on Thursday. A woman protester was fatally shot by the authorities, and three people died from medical emergencies.
The FBI offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information on people responsible for placing pipe bombs in the headquarters of the two main U.S. political parties. The agency released a picture of a suspect wearing gloves and a hoodie, carrying an object.