WASHINGTON (WRIC) — Rep. Abigail Spanberger co-sponsored an article of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump on Monday charging the president with high crimes and misdemeanors for “willfully inciting violence” against the U.S. government ahead of the Capitol riot.
Calls for Trump’s removal have grown since Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol where a violent mob of the president’s supporters breached the building, forcing lawmakers to shelter in place or find safety amid a lockdown. In the end, five people have died and nearly 100 people have been arrested.
The resolution claims the president incited the failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week while speaking at the “Stop the Steal” rally.
“Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States,” the resolution asserts.
“Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump addressed a crowd of his political supporters nearby,” it continued. “There, he reiterated false claims that ‘we won this election, and we won it by a landslide’. He also willfully made statements that encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”
The announcement from Spanberger comes after she and hundreds of other legislators publicly called on Trump’s Cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to remove Trump from office quickly.
On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) informed her caucus in a letter that Congress will move forward with the effort to remove President Donald Trump from office if he does not leave “imminently and willingly.”
“Today, following the President’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office – immediately,” Pelosi wrote. “If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.”
A draft of articles of impeachment was being circulated on Thursday and several Virginia Democrats in the House announced plans on Twitter to co-sponsor the articles. On Monday, those plans were formalized as lawmakers introduced the resolution in the House.
“I’d like to first begin by noting that my absolute preference is that the president resign,” Spanberger said in an interview Monday. “My absolute preference is that principled members of his party, principled Republicans, who to me have talked about how horrific this is, to me have talked about his culpability and inciting violence.”
“That those same individuals make a call, publicly or privately, to this president recognizing that they believe, and they know he is unfit for office, calling upon him to resign. That is why Nixon was not impeached, because principled Republicans recognize the dangers and criminal nature of his behavior and called on him to resign and he did.”
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