WASHINGTON – The Democratic majority in the United States House of Representatives began preparations on Friday to subject outgoing President Donald Trump to a second impeachment trial, although that process would probably not begin in the Senate until the president-elect, Joe Biden, is already in office. the power.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, has not yet given the final green light to the presentation of the charge prepared for impeachment, which would accuse Trump of “inciting an insurrection” of his followers before the assault on the Capitol last Wednesday.
However, Pelosi assured this Friday in a letter to her colleagues that she would begin the process of impeachment if Trump did not resign “immediately”, something that seems highly unlikely.
THE DOUBTS OF BIDEN
Hours later, the Democratic leader instructed the lower house rules committee to prepare to “move forward” a “motion for impeachment,” an idea that generates consensus in the Democratic ranks but has not gotten the explicit endorsement of Biden.
“(Trump) should have left power yesterday (…) but the fastest way in which that will happen is our inauguration,” Biden said during a press conference this Friday in Wilmington (Delaware).
The president-elect worries that an impeachment of Trump will consume the Senate during his first weeks in power, when he wants the capital to focus on passing his bills to contain the pandemic, re-float the economy and reform the immigration system.
And indeed, that would be the result if the lower house decides to initiate the impeachment process, judging by the Senate’s calendar for the next two weeks.
A COMPLICATED CALENDAR
Democrats plan to present their charge against Trump on Monday and vote in plenary to formally impeach him by the middle of next week, but under the US system, it is the Senate that must be in charge of developing the impeachment.
The leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, warned this Friday in a letter to his colleagues that his chamber will not meet to discuss substantive issues until January 19, and that due to its internal regulations, the earliest that The impeachment could start on the 20th, when Biden is already president.
Although the Senate has two formal sessions scheduled next Tuesday and Friday, the consent of the 100 senators who make up the chamber would be necessary to address important issues on those days, including the start of an impeachment, and that is unlikely due to the allies that Trump has left in that chamber.
That means that the impeachment of Trump will not be able to have the usual effect by which these processes are initiated, that of removing the president, something for which a two-thirds majority of the Senate would be required.
POSSIBLE POLITICAL INHABILITATION FOR TRUMP
However, Democrats plan to include in the process another consequence that would affect Trump: his disqualification from holding future political office.
The draft drafted by the Democrats calls for his removal and his “disqualification from holding and enjoying any position of honor, trust or benefit under the United States.”
The progressive caucus is confident that this point will help them convince some Republicans in the Senate who are considering running in the 2024 presidential elections and who see Trump as a possible rival in that race, according to the newspaper Politico.
THE DRAFT OF THE CHARGE
The text circulated by the Democrats, obtained by CNN, accuses Trump of “deliberately inciting violence” by asking his followers to march to the Capitol to interfere in the ratification process in Congress of Biden’s victory.
By encouraging the insurrection of his followers, Trump “seriously endangered the security of the United States and its government institutions,” the text states.
“It threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered in the peaceful transition of power, and endangered a branch of government. Therefore, he betrayed his trust as president, with consequent manifest damage to the people of the United States, ”he adds.
This would be the second impeachment trial that Democrats have subjected Trump to, after the one related to his pressure on Ukraine, which ended early last year with his acquittal in the Senate.
THE OTHER OPTION
Pelosi has also left open the option of pushing through a bill that would create a commission to help decide if a president is “capable” of governing, but removing Trump in that way would require the go-ahead of Vice President Mike Pence, who for now he has refused to act.
The proposal seeks to create a new mechanism to comply with the provisions of Amendment 25 to the Constitution, which indicates that the vice president can replace the president if he declares in writing that that president “is incapable” of holding the position.
To do this, the vice president must have either a majority of the cabinet or “another type of body that Congress can create by law”, something that does not exist now and that the bill seeks to create, although that measure would not have effect without the complicity of Pence.
Before Twitter permanently suspended his personal account, Trump announced this Friday that he will not attend the investiture of Biden, who celebrated that decision of the outgoing president.
“This is one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It is a good thing, that does not come ”, assured Biden.