Heated debate as Democrats try to remove Trump
Washington – A fiery debate opened in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday over an effort to remove President Donald Trump from office for inciting supporters who carried out a deadly rampage at the Capitol last week, while Trump denied wrongdoing.
Democrats pushed Republican lawmakers to disavow Trump’s false claim that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November 3 election was illegitimate – the very claim that enraged Trump’s supporters and prompted the violence in Washington that killed five, including a police officer.
Republicans refused to concede that point, instead defending their unsuccessful effort last week to challenge the results of the election.
Making his first public appearance since the January 6 riot, Trump defended the remarks he made to supporters at a rally before they stormed the seat of Congress and lambasted Democrats for pushing ahead with a drive to impeach him for an unprecedented second time.
“What I said was totally appropriate,” Trump told reporters as he left for a trip to the US-Mexico border wall near Alamo, Texas, his first public foray since the Capitol assault. “I want no violence.”
The Republican president did not answer a reporter’s question about whether he would resign.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives plans to vote as soon as Wednesday on an article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting insurrection unless he resigns or Vice President Mike Pence moves to oust him under a provision in the US Constitution.
The House will vote later on Tuesday on a resolution calling on Pence, a Republican, to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, a never-before used power that allows a majority of the Cabinet to strip the president of power if he or she is unable to discharge the office’s duties.
Pence advisers say he is opposed to the idea.
At a House Rules Committee debate setting the timeline and procedures for Tuesday’s debate, lawmakers previewed the potentially emotional battle over the resolution with angry exchanges over Republican efforts to cast doubt on the integrity of Biden’s sweeping election win. (Reuters)