Washington: Democrats in the House of Representatives have stepped up their bid to impeach Donald Trump in the waning days of his presidency, contending that he should be held accountable for the unprecedented mayhem by thousands of his supporters at the US Capitol.
The move to impeach Trump gained momentum on Sunday with the House Democrats announcing to introduce the article of impeachment against the outgoing Republican president on Monday.
This comes hours after the House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Dear Colleague letter to the Democratic members laid the ground rules for the move and gave an ultimatum to Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution.
The 25th Amendment allows for the president to be removed from office by the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet.
Describing the ground rules, Pelosi said, first thing Monday morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will request Unanimous Consent to bring up the Raskin resolution which calls on the Vice President to convene and mobilise the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to declare the President incapable of executing the duties of his office, after which the Vice President would immediately exercise powers as acting President.
"If we do not receive Unanimous Consent, this legislation is planned to be brought up on the Floor the following day. We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours. Next, we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor," Pelosi said.
"In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both. 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," she wrote.
The announcement came as Trump is facing fierce bipartisan criticism for his role the violent January 6 demonstrations on the Capitol Hill that led to at least five deaths and dozens of injuries, following a chaotic breach of the historic building when Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 White House race.
Trump addressed a rally outside the White House shortly before the deadly violence unfolded, urging his supporters to march toward the landmark to encourage Republican lawmakers to contest the Electoral College results, as he had refused to acknowledge their legitimacy with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.
Meanwhile, several Republicans have joined Democrats in calling upon the President to resign over the Capitol violence, reports IANS
Trump would be succeeded by Biden on January 20 as mandated by the Constitution.
The Senate is out of regular session until January 19th. It would take unanimous consent for the Senate to return before then.
(With inputs from agencies)