WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats laid plans Friday for impeaching President Donald Trump, even as he's headed out of the White House, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing an “unhinged” Trump from ordering a nuclear strike in his final hours and days.

Pelosi and the Democrats are considering swift impeachment — as soon as next week — in response to the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that shocked the nation and the world

“We must take action," Pelosi declared on a conference call.

She said she had spoken with Gen. Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes" for nuclear war. She said Milley assured her longstanding safeguards are in place.

The president has sole authority in the U.S. government to order the launch of a nuclear weapon, but a military commander could refuse the order if it were determined to be illegal.

Trump has been making no such threats, and he is to leave office Jan. 20 when Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in. But top lawmakers are sounding alarms that the president could do great damage on his way out.

“This unhinged president could not be more dangerous," Pelosi said of the current situation.

A person granted anonymity to discuss the private call said Pelosi also discussed other ways Trump might be forced to resign. And if he were to be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he might also be prevented from running again for the presidency in 2024 or ever holding public office again. He would be only the president twice impeached.

Conviction in the Republican Senate at this late date would seem unlikely. But it's a measure of his uncomfortable position that fewer Republicans are speaking out against his removal.

One Trump ally did. Republican Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California said “impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more.”

McCarthy said he reached out to Biden and plans to speak with the Democratic president-elect about working together to “lower the temperature.”

The final days of Trump’s presidency are spinning toward a chaotic end as he holes up at the White House, abandoned by many aides, leading Republicans and Cabinet members. He was tweeting again after his Twitter account was reinstated, reverting to an aggressive statement that his supporters must not be “disrespected" after he sent out a calmer Thursday video decrying the violence.

Calls are mounting for legal action following the Capitol attack, in which one protester was shot to death by Capitol police and Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died. Three other people died from “medical emergencies” during the demonstration.

Strong criticism of Trump, who urged the protesters to march to the Capitol, continued unabated.

"Every day that he remains in office, he is a danger to the Republic,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Schiff, who led Trump’s impeachment in 2019, said in a statement that Trump “lit the fuse which exploded on Wednesday at the Capitol.”

Articles of impeachment are expected to be introduced on Monday, with a House vote as soon as Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the planning and granted anonymity to discuss it.

Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to to force Trump from office. It’s a process for removing the president and installing the vice president to take over.

Biden’s transition spokesman Andrew Bates has said the president-elect is preparing to take office and “will leave it Vice President Pence, the Cabinet and the Congress to act as they see fit.”

But action by Pence or the Cabinet now appears unlikely, especially after two top officials, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao suddenly resigned in the aftermath of the violence at the Capitol and would no longer be in the Cabinet to make such a case.

Trump had encouraged loyalists at a rally Wednesday at the White House to march on the Capitol where Congress was certifying the Electoral College tally of Biden's election.

Pelosi discussed the prospect of impeachment with her leadership team Thursday night, hours after announcing the House was willing to act if Pence and other administration officials did not invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — the forceful removal of Trump from power by his own Cabinet.

Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, told CNN: “Everyone knows that this president is deranged.” One leading Republican critic of Trump, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, said he will “definitely consider” impeachment.

Schumer said he and Pelosi tried to call Pence early Thursday to discuss the 25th Amendment option but were unable to connect with him.

Most Democrats, and many Republicans, put the blame squarely on Trump after swarms of protesters bearing Trump flags and clothing broke into the Capitol and caused destruction and evacuations.

Three Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee began Thursday to circulate articles of impeachment. Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California wrote in the articles that Trump “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”

The House impeached Trump in 2019, but the Republican-led Senate acquitted him in early 2020.

Pelosi said “a threshold was crossed of such magnitude” that Trump should not be allowed to make any decisions.

During a new conference Thursday, she challenged several Cabinet members by name, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“Do they stand by these actions?” Pelosi asked. “Are they ready to say that for the next 13 days this dangerous man can do further harm to our country?”

Pence has not publicly addressed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment.

———

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Alexandra Jaffe contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(61) comments

anInterestedPerson

How many of the Trump supporters are willing to state, on this forum, that you support and/or will participate in any future attacks being planned. If you believe that your cause is Right and Just, you would proudly attach your name to it. I await your response.

threecents

It seems to me that Trump could be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate based solely on his recorded conversations with Georgia's governor - never mind the insurrection issue. Georgia's new Senators could be sworn in as soon as Jan 15.

DickD

From the beginning, Trump has been a disgusting person. A man of no morals, a man known to be a Mafia gangster. How did Republicans allow this man to get elected? What does it say about Republicans? Has the Evangelical right given up their faith? We cannot and will not allow this to continue.

Right now Trump's staff are resigning, like a pack of rats deserting a sinking ship.

Can we allow this criminal to stay in office 11 more days? I think not, drag his butt out now!

jsklinelga

America is a powder keg. Several weeks ago I wrote a letter to the editor and mentioned it to several people. I was somewhat shocked that these life long Frederick residents no longer got the FNP. I bought my first printed edition in awhile to show my daughter. $2,00, and it was wafer thin. It is a microcosm of America at large. Divided information streams.

Last night when I went to bed I felt like I was in communist China. Multiple acts of censoring occurred.

This election process was unique in our history in that mega propaganda ( def.. information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.) machines dominated our political landscape.. These mega platforms were given freedom to prosper with certain government regulated safeguards. They certainly violated that trust and with their massive accumulated fortunes and platform manipulation they have caused more disruptions and wreaked more havoc to our country than any foreign power could ever hope.

But I still have hope in America. I just pray, influenced by their one sided stream of information that one party does not act irrationally and lights a fuse that could blow up our country as we know it.

olefool

C'mon jsk, name names, take hostages, clear the air.....no more of your innuendo BS, is you've got a beef with somebody, spit it out.

Thewheelone

JSK, you have an eloquent way of repeating the mantra and fear mongering that the tin pot, wannabe dictator/president spews. BTW, the "fuse" you speak of has already been lit and it was snuffed out. Your prayer should be that it stays unlit, because the next time, it will not make it as far as it did on Wednesday. .

“Communist China”? FYI JSK, inciting sedition and insurrection are not protected free speech 🎤. The rest of your comment is gobbledygook.

Dwasserba

[thumbup]aw

threecents

Two and Awt[thumbup][thumbup]

MRS M

jsk

No wonder you're "shocked!!" It's time you come out of the closet and admit to yourself that: The "mega platforms" given freedom to prosper with their massive accumulated fortunes and platform manipulation" is the Murdoch Family and FoxStateTV, worshipping at the altar of Donald J. Trump. (See how easy that was admit and say out-loud, jsk? You'll feel so much better, and realize you're not in China, but just in Foxlandia, nursing at Trump's teat.)

You're also fearful that a Party might " light a fuse that could blow up our country as we know it?

Once you're out of the closet

I'd suggest you continue to watch the extensive video from Wednesday's attack on the Capitol, from Trump inciting on his soapbox, to DonJr. and his siblings partying in their White tent as the assault starts, to every single filmed frame on the attack as these Republican animals and followers of Trump took lives and created destruction.

Then, take a moment to listen to the now documented plan by these same followers to wreak havoc on Washington during the lead-up to inaugeration day, all of which mention being armed .("What"???, you say, " Fox is not carrying that?"

American has eyes, ears, and (about half) have an ability to think. America, and the world, saw an attack on the US government, led, incited, and supported by 4 long years of Trump's hateful ugly rhetoric. Why so difficult for you to speak the words? Most citizens yesterday went to bed utterly heartsick and disgusted with what Trump and his Republican enablers have done to America. It's surprising, at this late date, that you remain so steeped in cowardice and denial that you're unable to face this yourself.

threecents

America is a powder keg because of misinformation and calls to violence spread on social media and elsewhere. One way to stop the spread of misinformation and calls for violence is to warn the spreaders their access will be suspended and then terminated if they refuse to stop. Whether we like it or not, these are private forums, and their operators have always had the power and the responsibility to regulate them.

LeonardKeepers

there would not be any trash talk about impeaching President Trump if air head pelosi was not in power to attempt to remove president Trump from office.if anyone needs to be impeached,it is pelosi and her cronies.President Trump is not going to do anything in these last days of his Presidency to hurt or damage this country.President Trump is no weakling,he has done everything to protect and defend the constitution of this country. it cannot be said of pelosi and her cronies

olefool

If you can't see who's doing what and how; that must be a heavy rock you're living under Leonard.

pdl603

Yes, exactly. It is to bad that the mindless bots on the left couldn’t see it.

Thewheelone

Your disrespectful choice of using/not using capital letters is amusing Leonard and is so ingrained in the psyche of your fellow Trumpeteers here and elsewhere because DJT is the poster boy for disrespectful language an tweets, well no more tweets. Maybe we can move to a "kinder, gentler" America.

MRS M

leonard, piddlestain.....................you are embarassing yourselves, your family, and our community here. Facebook friends want you back. To say Trump " has done everything to protect and defend the constitution of this country" at this late date only makes the deep pile of dung you've been shoveling for the last 5 years that much more putrid. As they say, it's gonna take a long time to remove the stench of Trump from your boots. Good luck, boys.

bnick467

Let's not forget that Trump currently has the power to pardon all of the terrorists that attacked our great Capitol building and threatened democracy itself. That alone should be enough incentive to remove him immediately. Congress, if properly motivated, could bring charges and hold a trial within 24 hours. The fact that they aren't fast-tracking Trump's impeachment, and Pelosi saying it could happen "as early as next week", when it should have been done already, tells me that Congress doesn't care much about the sanctity of our institutions either.

matts853

If he can’t be trusted with Twitter then taking the nukes from him is probably a good idea too. Trump has the emotional stability of a 3 year old, and now that his favorite toy has been taken from him he needs to stay in his room. Pass the football to Pence and sedate Trump for 12 days. Pence is a weasel, but he’s not insane. I don’t agree with impeachment or the 25th - no time for that, they can’t work, and he’ll end up emboldened. Just keep him monitored with a few responsible people by his side all the time. He just can’t be trusted to make any significant decisions.

KellyAlzan

Now that trump has shown how sick of a person he is, I want to make it known that Frederick county sheriff Charles A Jenkins is a loud and proud supporter and loyalist to Donald Trump. He is so loyal to trump that he has affectionately earned the nick name of Sherf Trumpkins.

Is Trump playing golf this weekend with Lindsey Graham? I’m sure there’s nothing urge going on.

MRS M

Lindsay said "he's done" Wednesday night. Too bad he didn't come to jesus when it mattered. Just another low-life, skeevy Republican coward, though more polished than most. Hawley could learn so much "at his knee".

Sounds like Trump will be left to play with himself.

gjthuro

more idiocy from the lefties..grow up already and do something beneficial for the citizens who pay your freight

threecents

Yah, what harm could he do in his last two weeks?... Hmm.

sevenstones1000

Impeachment will guarantee that Trump can never run for Federal office again. At the very least, we need to do that.

CD, you may not understand... He may not be convicted by January 20th, but very likely to be impeached by Wednesday.

Piedmontgardener

No one's paid my freight since I left home at 18. But thanks for your patriotic concern over the dismal state of the Republic, it's the first thing I thought about when I read your comment - "Here's a civic minded Citizen, offering worthy thoughts concerning the Republic."

MRS M

gjthuro, The deaths of 365,000+ Americans is a result of the current administration's incompetence. It has little to do with "lefties" as you term those you wish to blame, now, for the utter misery our nation is in. Like poor weak piddlestain, the "business of the people" you and piddlestain wish to throw at the Democrats has been the responsibility of Trump, who abdicated his oath to this nation like the deserter and traitor he is.

I wonder at what point in the last 4 years you and piddlestain challenged Trump and Pence to get to the "business of the people", "to grow up" and to do "something beneficial"? Was it when they lied about Covid19 a year ago? Did you both speak up before 365,000 Americans died? Or have both of you spoken up to address that Trump has been AWOL for the last 65 days, except to golf, concoct a bogus story of how he was 'robbed' of his "landslide election", and coerce the Georgia Sec. of State to "find more votes"? Or did you speak up on Wednesday, as the leader of YOUR Republican party, who never grew up, incited violence and raised a tiny army of junk-yard insurgents to storm the Capitol. Geez. Stop embarassing yourselves, the FNP, and the community represented here with your very own desperate idiocy.. Please! Go back to Facebook. They need more delusional citizens such as yourself and piddlestain there.

matts853

Trump can do something really beneficial right now. He can grow up, accept defeat like a man, and tell the country that Biden is the duly elected president and he won fair and square. Just concede and admit he lied about the election being rigged so we can move on. That would be the most patriotic act of his life. This charade has gone on entirely too long.

pdl603

Typical bs from the left and dems. How about engaging and doing the business of the people you so dearly love, well at least 50 percent of them anyway.

sevenstones1000

You mean like Trump has been doing from Mar a Lago and his bedroom for the past four years?

C.D.Reid

Hey seven, guess what? You need to join the last century, and then get to this one. The President has the capability to perform the duties of the office from anywhere in the world.

MRS M

Hey CD, Guess what, little man? Trump's been AWOL for 65 days. He abandoned his post long ago, and is a traitor to his Oath of Office, while 365,000+ Americans died under his watch, between Covid and the riot he designed and incited at the Capitol on Wednesday. One wonders why you and your like-minded Republicans need to hold on so desperately to the embarrassment, destruction, and heinous, un-American actions of the Trump presidency. Wrong side of history, little man.

CD, Twitter suspended Trump’s account permanently, that’s technology of this century. Right?

matts853

Capability - yes. Capacity - absolutely not. He’s a mad man.

olefool

When's he gonna start???

C.D.Reid

My my, the TDS cult certainly is out in force this morning, huh matts853? Oh, and MRS M, when I told seven that the president has the capability to perform the duties of the office from anywhere in the world, I was referring to any president, not just the current one. But I guess that just went right over your empty little head, didn't it?

MRS M

tut, tut, cd, you tiny little, juvenile man of middle school insults. No wonder you're a Trump supporter. Like jsk, piddlestream, bosco and the rest, sadly you're never gonna get rid of that stench of Trump that follows you. That big dung pile you been shovelin' for the last five years is stinkin' up the space.. Let us know when you're ready to come outta the closet too, and admit you were conned like a little girl. You'll feel better for it, tiny.

Whatsup

If the shoe fits, you must commit! [thumbup]

chris

If there isn't enough Republican support for this, after all that has happened in the past 4 years--or even 4 days--then I really can't understand what they are seeing. They were in the chambers as the doors were being beaten in, while guns were fired, while a Trumpian mob attempted to stop the course of an free and fair election. What more evidence of his wockedness does anyone need? "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" Proverbs 16:18

vodalone

Those GOP members are scared of losing power if they support removing Trump. Many people still voted for Trump in the districts those GOP members represent. Remember Trump is not the cause of this, he's the symptom of it.

Hayduke2

Voda - [thumbup]

vodalone

Not enough time and political will to remove him. Plus if you remove him you risk Pence pardoning him. Let his term play out, he will no doubt attempt to pardon himself since they'll be investigations and charges coming from every which way starting Jan. 21. Focus should be on setting a legal precedence that the president cannot pardon himself, that way he'll easily be in prison for the rest of his life.

shiftless88

I am guessing that there are a lot of people in Congress who would like to give him the label "only POTUS to be impeached twice"

francesca_easa

I think you are wrong about Pence. He is first and foremost a man of duty. I believe it best for Trump to remove himself from the White House and then instruct Pence to take over the transition process. By the time our worthless Congress gets around to passing A25, January 20 will already be here. If Trump does not excuse himself and leave by January 11, then the men in straight jackets should come for him. I feel badly for his wife and young son who will be shunned from society for Donald's actions.

MRS M

Pence was first and foremost.............Trump's silent, servile, submissive lapdog.

Secondly, recall Pence was the Leader-in-Chief of the Administration's Corona Virus Task Force.

With 365,000+ Americans who have died as of today due to the incompetence of the Covid response, Pence's inability to lead is............missing in action, just as it has been for the last year. Which is why Pence will take no action in terms of the 25thA.

francesca_easa

Mrs. M. That is a ridiculous accusation. That is like blaming Fauci, Birx, Adams and others for all of the deaths. People were presented with information, given recommendations and strongly advised on what to do. In the end, personal choices and lifestyles are what should be held accountable.

MRS M

Fran, "ridiculous"? Oh , so you believe Pence did a good job...just like you believe their were "guilty people" on both sides on Wednesday at the desecration of the US Capitol correct? Perhaps you've lost your way here. You're not posting nuggets for your facebook friends. Please give just one example of Pence's leadership of the Corona Task Force for the last 10 months. Pence did absolutely nothing other than nod his head like the bobble-head he is, with a shocking inabilty to take a leadship role. 365,000+ people have lost their lives, based on Trump's messaging to the world of a "democratic hoax". I don't recall pious, humanitarian, god fearing moralist Pence stand up to call-out that lie, did you? Pence's silence, cowardice, and inaction has killed, Fran. Not so ridiculous.

vodalone

The big unknown is what is Mike Pence's political ambition? Without knowing this it's hard to predict what he would do.

Dwasserba

They constructed a wooden gallows with a noose and chanted, "Hang Pence!" But he's still not a fan of doing...anything. So hard to predict. "Oh boy here comes Mike right atcha (where's he been?) and -- he's bringing pie for everyone that Mother made!!" Whew. And I thought he wouldn't make a statement.

LeonardKeepers

president Trump only has a few days left in office,i do not see any point impeaching him or using the 25th amendment,the rioting is/was a disgrace.let the man go out of office in peace.

duffy5x

trump deserves NO peace. He is a MONSTER.

shiftless88

Who knows what he might do in the next few days

olefool

How would you feel if, during his last 12 days, he launched the US arsenal of nuclear weapons onto Russia and China, causing them to launch their entire arsenals of Nuclear weapons on the USA and its allies??? Armageddon sound OK to you Leonard??

vodalone

Narcissists are too engulfed in their own existence to do something like that. Then again knowing that the rest of his life will be nothing but court battles and lawsuits maybe you have a point.

Dwasserba

His life was "court battles and lawsuits" before he got here. Ask NY and NJ.

saogirl52

I can't agree with you, LK. The mob assault on the Captol is directly linked to Trump. He is a ticking time bomb that will not go gently into that good night. He will continue his seditious acts and foment more violence anyway he can for as long as he can. He belongs in a jail cell.

saogirl52

Trump will not go gently into that good night. He will continue to foment violence for as long as he possibly can. In his mind he has a lot of scores to settle with "those who stole the election" any way he can. He couldn't care less about collateral damage. He should be in prison.

newspostreader

I agree that he needs to be removed, but there needs to be support from both Democrats and Republicans. If there is only Dem support, it's just going to further divide the nation.

phydeaux994

During an interview with CBS This Morning, Sasse said that what Trump did "was wicked," as he acted against his oath to the American people "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution."

"The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because as I told you, I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office," the Nebraska senator said.

NewMarketParent

@phydeaux994

The sad part is that most of these people have been trashing 45 behind close doors, but supporting him for the power. These people are cowards and cynics. I don't have faith in the Republicans currently in congress with the exception of Romney.

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