US House introduces articles of impeachment against Trump after Capitol riot

If the legal action is successful, it would make Donald Trump the first US president to be impeached twice

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) wears a protective mask while walking to the House Floor at the U.S. Capitol on January 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. House Republicans blocked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyers efforts to quickly move a resolution that urged Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, setting up a vote on the measure tomorrow.   Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images/AFP
Powered by automated translation

House Democrats formally presented an article of impeachment against US President Donald Trump on Monday, charging him with “incitement of insurrection”.

The charge related to pro-Trump rioters in a deadly attack on the US Capitol as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

It is the first step towards the House starting an impeachment inquiry. If it follows through, it would make Mr Trump the first president to be impeached twice.

The legislation cites the 14th Amendment, which declares that anyone, including the president, "engaging in insurrection or rebellion against'' the US will not be allowed to ''hold any office".

On January 6, hundreds of supporters stormed the US Capitol after a rally speech by Mr Trump.

It led to the delay of the congressional certification of president-elect Joe Biden's electoral win as well as five deaths, including one US Capitol police officer.

On Monday morning, Democrats also presented a resolution that would force Vice President Mike Pence to respond to whether he would invoke the 25th Amendment, an action that would push for the removal of the president from office.

The resolution ordered Mr Pence to convene executive departments of the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment and declare Mr Trump "incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president".

Mr Pence is required to respond within a day.

Democrat leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi contacted him about the 25th Amendment in the days after the attack. Mr Pencehas yet to comment.

The move was blocked by House Republicans, forcing the chamber to call for a full vote on the floor.

Ms Pelosi said she would on Tuesday put forward the resolution on the 25th Amendment and impeachment legislation.

“The president’s threat to America is urgent and so too will be our action,” she said.

Ms Pelosi also condemned Republican objections.

“The House Republicans rejected this legislation to protect America, enabling the president’s unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue,” she said.

“Their complicity endangers America, erodes our democracy, and it must end.”