Republicans block resolution calling for the quick removal of Donald Trump from office but vote is expected to pass

  • ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore outlines what the next few days could look like for Donald Trump

Republicans have blocked a House resolution calling on US Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to immediately remove President Donald Trump from office.

However, the full House is set to hold a roll call vote on that resolution on Tuesday, and it is expected to pass.

Democrats in the House are pushing Pence and the Cabinet to oust Trump, saying he is unfit for office after encouraging a protest march that led to a deadly siege at the US Capitol.

After the vote on Tuesday, Mr Pence will have 24 hours to respond. Next, the House would proceed to impeachment with a vote that could take place on Wednesday.

Mr Pence has given no indication he is ready to proceed on such a course, which would involve invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, including a vote by a majority of the Cabinet to oust Trump before he leaves office on January 20.

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on that date.

Mike Pence has given no indication on whether he would invoke the 25th amendment to oust Donald Trump. Credit: AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is putting pressure on Republicans to tell Mr Trump to resign immediately while preparing to start impeachment proceedings.

Mr Trump would face a single charge — 'incitement of insurrection' — over the riot at the Capitol, according to a draft of the articles obtained by The Associated Press.

Lawmakers were set to introduce the legislation Monday, with voting mid-week.

The four-page impeachment bill draws from Mr Trump's own false statements about his election defeat to Mr Biden.

It also refers to his pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes; and his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the building on Wednesday.

Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, repeatedly dismissed cases and Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, said there was no sign of any widespread fraud.

Nancy Pelosi said the House plans to start impeachment proceedings against Trump. Credit: AP

Lawmakers have warned of the damage the president could still do before he leaves office on January 20.

“We will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat,” Pelosi said in a letter on Sunday to colleagues emphasising the need for quick action.

“The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”

During an interview on “60 Minutes” aired Sunday, Pelosi invoked the Watergate era when Republicans in the Senate told President Richard Nixon, “It’s over.”

“That’s what has to happen now,” she said.

Republican senators Pat Toomey and Lisa Murkowski called for the president to resign over the weekend.

Toomey said he doubted impeachment could be done before Biden is inaugurated, even though a growing number of lawmakers say that step is necessary to ensure Trump can never hold elected office again.

“I think the president has disqualified himself from ever, certainly, serving in office again,” Toomey said. “I don’t think he is electable in any way.”

Murkowski, long exasperated with the president, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply “needs to get out.”

A third, Senator Roy Blunt did not go that far, but on Sunday he warned Trump to be “very careful” in his final days in office.

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On impeachment, House Democrats would likely delay for 100 days sending articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, to allow Biden to focus on other priorities.

But Senator Marco Rubio branded plans to impeach the president with just days left in office as "ridiculous".

Representative David Cicilline, a leader of the House effort to draft impeachment articles accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said that his group had 200-plus co-sponsors.