By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Democratic Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark has urged Vice President Mike Pence to remove Trump, and threatened that the House would start impeachment proceedings by the middle of next week if he fails to do so.
“If reports are correct, and Mike Pence is not going to uphold his oath of office and remove the president and help protect our democracy, then we will move forward with impeachment to do just that,” Clark said.
“Congress can act very quickly when they want to,” she added.
The congresswoman suggested that American democracy would be “damaged” if the president wasn’t held accountable by being removed from office.
READ ALSO: US President Donald Trump Finally Impeached
Before the interview, Clark spent the past 48 hours calling Trump a “traitor” on Twitter and accusing his supporters of a “seditious attempt to overthrow our democracy” over the unrest at the Capitol. She also urged the FBI to investigate Trump “and his 128 co-conspirators in the House and Senate” (i.e. those lawmakers who expressed opposition to certifying the election in Joe Biden’s favour) for Wednesday’s violence.
On Thursday, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged Trump’s cabinet to oust him immediately, saying the Republican president “should not hold office one day longer” and that Congress “should reconvene to impeach” if the cabinet fails to act by invoking the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution, which allows for a president to be declared unfit for office. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a similar demand, accusing Trump of calling on his supporters to carry out a “seditious act.”
Also on Thursday, US media reported, citing sources, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin discussed invoking the 25th Amendment before abandoning the idea, supposedly because it would take too long to implement and due to legal questions about whether acting secretaries could vote in the removal proceedings.
Late Thursday, Trump released a short video address in which he condemned the assault on the Capitol, and formally acknowledged that a “new administration would be inaugurated” on 20 January, committing to “ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
The constitutional amendment is open to interpretation and does not offer a clear-cut description of what qualifies as an “inability to serve” in the absence of a serious malady, such as being in a coma or suffering a stroke.
As for impeachment, the Democratic Party already tried that in late 2019, bringing Trump up on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate alleged pay-to-play corruption by the Biden family in that country.
The Democrat-controlled House successfully impeached Trump, but the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him in February 2020. A conviction in a new impeachment trial would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate. Senate runoff elections in Georgia this week saw Democrats defeating their Republican rivals, with the chamber now expected to be split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats and independents caucusing with Democrats meaning the move may not be easy to implement.