A push by Democrats in Congress to impeach Donald Trump for a second time is running into resistance in the US Senate, with senior lawmakers on both sides of the aisle voicing their opposition.
Democrats will introduce a motion to the House of Representatives on Monday calling on Mike Pence, the vice-president, to strip Mr Trump of his office following last week’s violence by the president’s supporters in Washington. If Mr Pence fails to do so, they plan to vote to impeach Mr Trump later this week, making it likely he would be the first president to be impeached twice, Financial Times reports.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, laid out her plans in a letter to colleagues on Sunday. “As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetuated by this president is intensified and so is the immediate need for action,” she wrote.
But while a growing number of Republicans have criticised the president for his role, none has said they would vote to convict him of wrongdoing in the Senate. Several added they did not think impeachment was the best way to hold Mr Trump accountable.
“The best way for our country is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible,” Pat Toomey, one of the Republican senators who has led condemnation of the president, told NBC News. He doubted it would be possible to impeach Mr Trump in the limited time he has left in office or afterwards.
Mr Toomey’s concerns were echoed by Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator, who said he did not want impeachment proceedings to distract Mr Biden in his first few months in office.
Mr Trump has been roundly condemned for urging on a crowd of supporters who went on to storm the Capitol building, resulting in the deaths of five people, including a police officer. The rioters briefly stopped the certification of Mr Biden’s electoral victory, which Mr Trump continues falsely to claim was illegitimate, trashed furniture and posed for photographs