Presidential Transition Live Updates: House Says It Will Move Swiftly With Impeachment If Pence Won’t Act

Democrats suggested they could charge President Trump with “high crimes and misdemeanors” by midweek for inciting a mob that attacked the Capitol. But top leaders want to avoid hamstringing the first days of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidency with an all-consuming Senate trial.


D.C.’s mayor asks the Trump administration to enhance security around the inauguration.

The House barrels forward on its effort to remove Trump from office, placing pressure on Pence and vowing swift action on impeachment.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The House moved on two fronts on Sunday to force President Trump from office, escalating pressure on the vice president to strip him of power and committing to quickly begin impeachment proceedings against him for inciting a mob that violently attacked the seat of American government.

In a letter to colleagues, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would move forward on Monday with a nonbinding resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, and wrest the powers of the presidency from Mr. Trump. She called on Mr. Pence to respond “within 24 hours.”

Next, Ms. Pelosi said, the House would bring an impeachment case to the floor. Though she did not specify how quickly it would move, leading Democrats have suggested they could press forward on a remarkably quick timetable, charging Mr. Trump with “high crimes and misdemeanors” by midweek.

“In protecting our Constitution and our democracy, we will act with urgency, because this president represents an imminent threat to both,” she wrote. “As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this president is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”

The House could vote as soon as Tuesday on an impeachment article, the chamber’s No. 3 Democrat said.

Credit…Pool photo by Joshua Roberts

The No. 3 House Democrat said on Sunday that the chamber could vote as soon as Tuesday on an article of impeachment charging President Trump with inciting a violent mob that attacked the Capitol — but then delay sending it to the Senate for trial.

Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the Democratic whip, said that the vast majority of House Democrats believed the president must be impeached for his conduct but that top leaders were still trying to determine how to punish Mr. Trump without hamstringing the first days of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidency with an all-consuming Senate trial. They recognized it would be impossible to impeach and hold a trial before Mr. Trump leaves office in 10 days, he said.

“If we are the people’s house, let’s do the people’s work and let’s vote to impeach this president,” Mr. Clyburn said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The Senate will decide later what to do with that impeachment.”

In a separate interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mr. Clyburn suggested that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was considering impeaching now but not sending the article to the Senate for trial for weeks — possibly until after Mr. Biden’s first 100 days in office. The Senate must immediately begin a trial when it receives impeachment articles, but it cannot begin one without them.

“Let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running,” said Mr. Clyburn, an influential ally to the incoming president. “And maybe we will send the articles sometime after that.”

The comments came after senior Democrats had met late into the night on Saturday discussing possible options for the week ahead, as support for impeachment grew to encompass nearly their entire caucus. House leaders were giving extra attention to security concerns that could affect the timing after last weeks events, working with the U.S. Air Marshals and the Capitol Police to ensure lawmakers could travel safely back to Washington for a vote.

At the same time, pressure against the president continued to build, including from some Republicans. Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania became the second Republican senator to call for Mr. Trump to resign. And Mick Mulvaney, the president’s former acting chief of staff and a former congressman from South Carolina, said he would consider voting for articles of impeachment if he were still in the House, and predicted many other Republicans would do the same.

As of Sunday morning, 210 of 222 Democrats — nearly a majority of the chamber — had signed onto the article of impeachment drawn up by Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California. It charges Mr. Trump with “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States.”

Separately, Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the District of Columbia’s nonvoting House delegate, planned to introduce a resolution formally censuring Mr. Trump. Though Ms. Holmes Norton supports impeachment, she argued that given Republican resistance to impeachment, censure was “the only way to send a bipartisan, bicameral message without delay to the country and the world that the United States is a nation of laws.”