Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team are considering a lightning-quick impeachment process if Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet refuse to take unprecedented steps to remove President Donald Trump from office in less than two weeks' time.
The stunning intervention to remove a sitting president would need significant bipartisan support to succeed in the Senate, something Democrats don't have yet. But Pelosi has bluntly warned the White House that the House would impeach Trump for "seditious acts" in inciting riots at the Capitol on Wednesday, reports the CNN.
"This is urgent -- this is an emergency of the highest magnitude," the California Democrat told reporters Thursday.
"My phone has been exploding with 'impeach, impeach, impeach.' "
Pelosi and her leadership team spoke Thursday night about whether to hold a quick impeachment vote, and the overwhelming sentiment was to move ahead, according to multiple sources. While there were some dissenters concerned that the move could be perceived as an overreach and turn off Trump supporters in their districts, the view among most top Democrats -- including Pelosi -- is that Trump should be held accountable for his actions.
The full Democratic caucus will speak Friday at 12 pm ET.
Moving ahead with impeachment, of course, doesn't mean Congress would be able to remove Trump from office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could let the clock run out and not hold an impeachment trial in his chamber given that President-elect Joe Biden will be President on 20 January.