House Charges Donald Trump With Impeachment for 'Inciting an Insurrection'

The House of Representatives is moving forward with plans to impeach President Donald Trump a second time, charging him with inciting violence against the United States government by challenging the election results.

In a congressional document, Democrats in the House of Representatives accused Trump of engaging in high crimes and misdemeanors when he encouraged the "lawless action" that took place at the Capitol on January 6. To actually remove the president, though, Democrats still need to get enough members of their own party, as well as two-thirds of the Senate on board, which is a tall order.

Unlike in 2019 when Trump was first impeached, this time legislators are working against a ticking clock. They only have nine days to complete the process before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, and a number of legislators have pushed back against impeaching Trump, even if they disagreed with how he handled the rally and the subsequent violence at the Capitol.

donald trump impeach
On Monday, Democrats will file an article of impeachment against President Donal Trump. Here Trump talks to members of the media outside of the White House on October 27, 2020. Tasos Katopodis/Getty

Along with his speech on Wednesday, Democrats criticized Trump for a phone call he had with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger the weekend prior. During the call, which was leaked to the media, Trump urged him to "find" enough votes to overturn the election and said there was nothing wrong with the secretary of state saying they "recalculated" votes.

"In all of this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government," the impeachment article states. "He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."

As legislators prepared to certify Biden's victory on Wednesday, Trump addressed a crowd of supporters in Washington, D.C. He reiterated that they would "stop the steal" of the election and that he "won it by a landslide."

Trump pushed Pence to do the "right thing" and send the election back to the states to recertify. However, Pence, who largely stayed mum on the subject leading up to Wednesday, said in a statement shortly after that he saw his role as largely being ceremonial and while he would give objections their due consideration, he would not insert himself at the level Trump wanted.

If people don't "fight like hell," Trump said, "you're not going to have a country anymore."

"We're going to the Capitol ... [and] we're going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country," Trump said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., rally attendees breached Capitol security, with some entering legislators' offices and making it onto the House and Senate floors. Four civilians died during the riot, and Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick also lost his life.

Democrats will introduce the article of impeachment in the House at 11 a.m. Monday and the resolution has more than 200 co-sponsors, according to Representative David Cicilline. They're also pursuing a push to get Vice President Mike Pence to mobilize the cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment. Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and the cabinet have the ability to remove a president from office, thereby allowing the vice president to step into the top role.

If Pence doesn't respond to the 25th Amendment resolution within 24 hours, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats Sunday, they will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the House floor. While Pelosi supported removing Trump from office by way of the 25th Amendment, she told CBS' 60 Minutes that impeaching Trump may be preferential because it could prevent him from holding office again.

"There's strong support in the Congress for impeaching the President a second time," Pelosi said.

If Democrats succeed in impeaching Trump, he'll be the first president to be impeached twice.