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Nevada reps back speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call to impeach Trump

Updated January 7, 2021 - 5:17 pm

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Thursday for President Donald Trump to be removed from office for his role in inciting rioters to storm the Capitol, saying she was prepared to begin a second impeachment proceeding.

Pelosi announced her intentions during a news conference with reporters at the Capitol where she excoriated the president for his role in provoking the violence on Wednesday.

Trump at a rally on Wednesday repeated his unsupported allegations of a stolen election, told supporters “we’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women” and urged them to “fight.” He later released a video asking supporters to “go home,” but repeating the election fraud allegations.

House members including Nevada Democrats Dina Titus, Steven Horsford and Susie Lee, said they back efforts to impeach the president for spurring a mob to attempt the disruption of formally counting Electoral College votes.

“He is a clear and present danger to the Republic,” Titus said.

Horsford said Trump is “a risk to our national security, democratic institutions and the Constitution itself.”

Lee said Trump should be removed, impeached or resign immediately.

Impeach or remove

During a news conference, Pelosi said she would join Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in asking Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would allow him and the Cabinet to remove the president, at least temporarily.

If Pence fails to act, Pelosi said she was prepared to take up impeachment to remove Trump from office. By law, impeachment must be initiated in the House. It would also need require a Senate trial and a two-thirds majority vote to convict, or 67 senators.

Nevada’s two Democratic Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, noted the short time left in Trump’s term and the need to protect democratic institutions, but did not call for an impeachment vote or a Senate trial.

Both voted to convict Trump after the House impeached the president in 2019.

There are only two weeks left in Trump’s presidential term, but Pelosi said the president’s recent actions demanded he be removed from office.

“The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America,” Pelosi said.

Although Lee agreed, she tempered expectations on impeachment.

“Without broad bipartisan support, the likelihood of removing Donald Trump from office in the next 13 days is extremely low,” Lee said.

Scant Republican support

A House Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a frequent Trump critic, also called for the House to impeach the president for his actions.

But few Republicans defended Trump for his role in the riot that left a California woman who was inside the Capitol dead of a gunshot wound. The Capitol Police officer who fired the shot was placed on administrative leave pending two investigations.

The rioters forced a lockdown of the Capitol complex, and moved through the Senate chamber and offices on both sides of the building as police escorted lawmakers to safer areas.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., condemned the rioters and violence as un-American, but stopped short of criticizing the president for his role in the insurrection. McCarthy in a CBS interview during the crisis said he’d spoken with the president and asked him to call for order.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev. called the acts by the rioters this week “shameful.”

Asked if he would support impeachment, Amodei noted that the president must leave in two weeks.

“At this point in time, no,” Amodei said.

Congress in recess

The House and Senate are out until Jan. 19, one day before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Pelosi could call the House back in session to vote on articles of impeachment anytime.

A congressional aide noted that an impeachment vote does not require hearings, like those that have preceded previous impeachment proceedings into allegations against Trump, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.

Articles of Impeachment against Trump have been drafted by Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

Horsford said he has signed on as a co-sponsor.

The articles accuse the president of inciting insurrection against the government and jeopardizing lives and democracy.

“It is clear that Donald Trump cannot remain in the presidency for another day,” Horsford said.

Proponents for impeachment argue that Senate conviction would curb Trump’s pardon power in the waning days of his administration and prevent him from protecting those involved in the riots from penalties for federal charges. Impeachment would also prevent Trump from running for any federal office, including president, in the future. He has pledged to be a candidate for the 2024 election.

The House successfully impeached Trump on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power in December 2019, but Trump was acquitted by the Senate Feb, 5, 2020 on both counts after prosecutors failed to receive the two-thirds majority vote.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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