Trump impeachment: Democrats prepare to act over Capitol riot
The US House of Representatives could vote as early as Tuesday on an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, a senior Democrat has said.
House Democrats plan to introduce a charge of “incitement of insurrection” against the president over his role in the violent storming of the Capitol.
House whip James Clyburn told CNN action would be taken this week.
But the party may not send any articles to the Senate for trial until after Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office.
“Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,” Mr Clyburn said.
That would allow Mr Biden to confirm his new cabinet and kick-start key policies including tackling coronavirus – something that would have to wait if the Senate had already received the impeachment articles.
Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans accuse Mr Trump of encouraging last Wednesday’s riot in Congress in which five people died.
But no Republican senators have said they will vote to convict him of wrongdoing in the Senate.
A second Republican senator, Pat Toomey, called for Mr Trump to resign on Sunday.
“I think the best way for our country…. is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible,” Sen Toomey told NBC’s Meet the Press.
“I acknowledge that may not be likely, but I think that would be best.”
Lisa Murkowski, from Alaska, was the first Republican senator to urge the president to go. Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, has said he would consider articles of impeachment if approved by the House.
Meanwhile, former Republican California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger labelled Mr Trump as the “worst president ever” in a social media video on Sunday.
The actor likened Wednesday’s violence to that of the Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, during which Jewish property was destroyed in Nazi Germany in 1938.
As investigators try to prosecute rioters who stormed the Capitol, police departments in Virginia and Washington state have placed officers on administrative leave for allegedly attending the events while off-duty.
Fire departments in Florida and New York City have also said some of their members may have been present when the mob broke into the Capitol, according to Reuters news agency.