"This Is Urgent": Nancy Pelosi Says Congress Is Prepared to Pursue Trump's Impeachment

In a statement issued on Jan. 7 following the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office 13 days before the end of his term as president. The riots, perpetuated by Trump's false claims of election fraud, saw thousands of armed Trump supporters storm the Capitol building and resulted in four confirmed deaths and 68 people arrested, according to Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III. Pelosi is one of many to call for Trump's impeachment over the last 24 hours, in addition to Congresswoman Cori Bush, Representative Ilhan Omar, and Representative Ayanna Pressley.

"This is urgent. This is an emergency of the highest magnitude . . . While there are only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America."

"In calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people," Pelosi began. "I join the senate democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment. If the vice president and cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment." Past efforts to impeach Trump have taught us that the next step in removing him from office would be for Pence to "recognize the danger" of the Trump presidency and take action. On Jan. 7, Pence officially acknowledged that President-elect Joe Biden had won the presidency but has made no comment on whether he plans to follow through with Trump's impeachment.

"When you have the 25th Amendment invoked, that would be calling upon the vice president, as we hope to do, to take the lead and, with the majority of the cabinet, to be able to unseat the president of the United States, a very dangerous person who should not continue in office," Pelosi said. "This is urgent. This is an emergency of the highest magnitude . . . While there are only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America."

If Pence refuses to take action, Congress can also establish a commission of authority figures — including former presidents, cabinet members, and health officials — who can then move to unseat the president. In accordance with this rule, Pelosi called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller, and other current and former cabinet members to openly denounce Trump's inciting actions.

The speaker of the House also called for the resignation of the Chief of Capitol Police Steven Sund and demanded that the Congress members who provoked the attack on the Capitol be held accountable. "Accountability is also needed for Republicans in Congress who promoted the extreme conspiracy theories that provoked the violence, encouraged the mob, and who, after desecration of the Capitol, went back to the House floor and continued to push the falsehoods that underpinned this assault on our democracy," she said.

Trump's reckless endangerment of the American people and the country as a whole have gone on for too long, and it's up to his cabinet to take the next steps in removing him from office to prevent any further incidents from occurring. "A threshold was crossed of such magnitude that there is no way that this president should be allowed to make any decision," Pelosi said. "The president must be held accountable again."