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Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee released a 50-page report on Tuesday making the case for quickly impeaching President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on the US Capitol last week, citing his “imminent threat” to the country.
Among extensive examples of Trump’s allegedly impeachable conduct, the report said that Trump “willfully incited violence” against government officials, staff, and law enforcement — in particular, those next in line to succeed Trump if he were to be removed from office.
“The insurrection incited by the President also threatened the safety of the three most senior officials in the presidential line of succession: Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and President pro
tempore of the Senate Senator Chuck Grassley,” the report said.
The House is expected to vote on impeachment charges Wednesday morning following reports that Pence has opted not to remove Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment.
On Wednesday, January 6, armed rioters encouraged by Trump forced Congress to pause its certification of the Electoral College vote as lawmakers, their staff, and members of the media evacuated the building or barricaded themselves in. The violence led to five deaths and dozens of injuries.
While Congress eventually returned late Wednesday evening to finish the certification process after law enforcement had cleared and secured the Capitol building, the report said that Trump’s actions “undermined our national security, threatened the integrity of our democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of government.”
Under the Presidential Succession Act, Pence is next in line to become president if Trump were to be removed from office, followed by Pelosi.
Wednesday’s attacks marked the most serious security breach at the US Capitol since the War of 1812 and created various national security and cybersecurity risks, the extent of which officials haven’t yet fully assessed.
The report found that that Trump’s actions caused “lasting damage to the nation’s international reputation as a bastion of democratic order, undermining American ‘soft power’ and emboldening our adversaries abroad,” which “will take substantial public diplomacy work by future Presidents to overcome.”
It also cited various media reports of authoritarian regimes such as Iran, China, and Zimbabwe using the attempted insurrection to justify anti-democratic actions within their own borders, a tactic similarly deployed by Iran and China following Trump’s aggressive use of law enforcement against anti-police brutality protests following the death of George Floyd.
Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module