House Prepares for Trump Impeachment, Could Add Charges on Georgia Allegations Andrew Restuccia, Brent Kendall, Siobhan Hughes 2 days ago Payment processors halt transactions to Trump after Capitol mob Hogan calls GOP delegate who attacked Pence a Q-Anon conspiracy theorist The Wall Street Journal. logoHouse Prepares for Trump Impeachment, Could Add Charges on Georgia Allegations
Donald Trump in a striped umbrella© Evan Vucci/Associated Press WASHINGTONDemocrats moved toward impeaching President Trump over the riot at the U.S. Capitol as soon as this week as lawmakers of both parties condemned the presidents rhetoric and called on him to resign.
One article of impeachment that accuses Mr. Trump of inciting an insurrection was close to having enough support to pass the House. Meanwhile, more GOP lawmakers said Sunday Mr. Trump should resign.
Should Democrats succeed, Mr. Trump would be the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. Conviction in the Senate faces higher hurdles, however, including a two-thirds majority vote requiring significant Republican support.
The president didnt appear in public or make remarks over the weekend after Twitter shut off his account. He released a video on Thursday condemning the riot without taking responsibility for it and in which he vowed to leave office on Jan. 20. The White House has dismissed the impeachment effort as politically motivated.
Authorities on Saturday charged additional people in connection with the attack, which many say was spurred on by Mr. Trumps rhetoric as he for weeks falsely claimed the election had been stolen.
House Democrats said they expected to vote on at least one article of impeachment, and possibly another connected to Mr. Trumps efforts to pressure state officials to overturn President-elect Joe Bidens victory in Georgia.
Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), one of the main sponsors of a resolution to impeach the president, said Sunday afternoon that he had lined up more than 200 co-sponsors. A total of 222 lawmakers are in the House Democratic caucus, and it would take 217 votes to pass an impeachment measure, with 433 House seats currently filled.
As part of the impeachment process, lawmakers could vote on a measure that would prevent Mr. Trump from running for president again in 2024, which he has told associates he wants to do, though it is unclear whether it would win enough support to pass both chambers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) hasnt made any final decisions, Democratic aides said, and was planning to discuss with the Democratic caucus on a Monday call.
An alternative approach would involve censuring Mr. Trump. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C.s nonvoting delegate in Congress, on Sunday said a censure resolution is the only way to send a bipartisan, bicameral message without delay.
A spokesman for Mrs. Pelosi wouldnt comment on Mrs. Pelosis thinking. Democrats are torn between pressure to hold Mr. Trump accountable for the riot and shifting their focus to Mr. Bidens agenda.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.) said on Sunday that the House could delay sending the articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate until Mr. Bidens term is well under way.
Lets give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running, and maybe well send the articles sometime after that, he said on CNNs State of the Union.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who is set to be majority leader once Mr. Biden assumes the presidency, also hasnt commented on his preferences. An aide didnt answer a question about whether Mr. Schumer favored proceeding with a Senate trial. Once the House approves articles of impeachment, it automatically triggers a Senate trial.
Any effort to impeach and convict Mr. Trump faces long odds given that two thirds of the Senate must vote in favor of conviction. Though some Senate Republicans may support convicting the president, it isnt known if Democrats can convince enough GOP lawmakers to join their cause.
Mr. Trump was acquitted by the Senate last year in impeachment proceedings related to his efforts pressing Ukraine to announce investigations that would benefit him politically.
The Senate isnt scheduled to be in session again until Jan. 19, one day before Mr. Trump leaves office. The Senate will be divided 50-50 with Democrats controlling the Senate after President-elect Joe Biden assumes office on Jan. 20. If all 100 senators were to vote, it would take 67 to convict, and the Senate will have 50 Democrats, suggesting they would need support from 17 Republicans.
Senate conviction carries with it removal from office, should Mr. Trump still be president at the time of a vote. The Senate would have to hold a separate vote, by a simple majority, to disqualify Mr. Trump from holding office in the future.
The U.S. Capitols attending physician said some lawmakers and staff might have been exposed to the coronavirus when they were evacuated during the Jan. 6 siege, adding to the issues created by the riot. Dr. Brian Monahan wrote in a memo that one individual in a House group that was moved to a large committee room may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection. He said that individuals should get tested for the virus as a precaution.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) on Sunday said Mr. Trump should step down. I think the best way for our country is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible. I acknowledge that may not be likely, but I think that would be best, Mr. Toomey said on NBCs Meet the Press. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.), who has called for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump, also said the president should resign on ABCs This Week.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) said on Friday he would consider impeachment, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) called on Mr. Trump to resign.
Some Republicans resisted the calls. My view would be that what the president should do is finish the last 10 days of his presidency, Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) said Sunday on CBS Face the Nation. Mr. Kinzinger also said that impeachment could backfire because I think it victimizes Donald Trump again.
The White House on Sunday referred reporters to a Friday statement, which said, A politically motivated impeachment against a president, who has done a great job, with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) sent a memo to Republican senators on Friday outlining how an impeachment trial could work, saying it would be impossible to do it before Mr. Biden becomes president.
University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck said there was a general legal consensus that impeachment proceedings can continue even after a president or other official leaves office. The issue also remains relevant, he said, because the impeachment process is a mechanism for rendering Mr. Trump disqualified from holding office in the future. This is their only remedy for that, Mr. Vladeck said
Mr. Trump sought to overturn Mr. Bidens win in Georgia in an hour-long call earlier this month with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, prompting criticism from Democrats and some Republicans.
In December, Mr. Trump also called a staffer in the Georgia secretary of states office, demanding that it produce proof of election fraud, an official at that office said. White House officials separately pushed Atlantas top federal prosecutor to resign before Georgias U.S. Senate runoffs because the president was upset he wasnt doing enough to investigate the presidents unproven claims of election fraud, people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Raffensperger told the president he was wrong and rejected pressure to further investigate an election. Senior Justice Department officials including recently departed Attorney General William Barr have said the Justice Department hadnt found evidence of widespread voter fraud that could reverse Mr. Bidens victory, and Mr. Trump and his supporters lost dozens of cases challenging the election results.
Twitter Inc. banned Mr. Trumps personal account on Friday, citing the risk of further incitement of violence as some of his supporters plan inauguration demonstrations.
The president is scheduled to travel to Alamo, Texas on Tuesday for an event focused on the Trump administrations efforts to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the White House said.
Write to Andrew Restuccia at Andrew.Restuccia@wsj.com, Brent Kendall at brent.kendallwsj.com and Siobhan Hughes at siobhan.hugheswsj.com