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House Republicans on Monday blocked a resolution from Democrats calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer attempted to pass the resolution through unanimous consent, but Representative Alex Mooney, a West Virginia Republican, objected, nixing the move. The House must now call a full vote on the measure in order to pass it.
Pence has not publicly indicated that he would consider invoking constitutional authority to remove the president, but he has reportedly discussed resorting to the 25th amendment, which requires the support of a majority of cabinet secretaries, should Trump show further signs of problematic behavior.
The resolution was blocked just as House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” over the riot by fervent Trump supporters at the Capitol last week that resulted in six dead.
On Wednesday, a large group of Trump supporters overpowered Capitol Police and forced their way into the halls of Congress. Pence and the assembled lawmakers evacuated the Senate floor, where a joint session of Congress was being held to certify the presidential election results.
The violence followed a rally outside the White House earlier in the day where President Trump addressed the “Save America March” and repeated his claims that November’s election was rife with voter fraud and that he had actually won a second term.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,” Trump told the crowd during the rally.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” the president said, but he also warned, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
The four-page article of impeachment against Trump accuses him of “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in the wake of the deadly riot.
Lawmakers also cited the 14th Amendment, which prevents those who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S. from ever holding public office in the future.