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House Democrats set in motion bid to remove Trump from office

[WASHINGTON] House Democrats on Monday began an attempt to remove President Donald Trump from office with a demand that Vice President Mike Pence use constitutional authority to declare him unfit, combined with the threat to impeach the president for a second time.

Republicans blocked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from fast-tracking a resolution urging Mr Pence and Mr Trump's Cabinet to use the 25th Amendment to oust Mr Trump. That sets up a roll call vote on the measure on Tuesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said if Mr Pence doesn't respond to the ultimatum in 24 hours, the House will move toward a vote on an impeachment resolution, which could come as soon as Wednesday.

More than 200 House members have already signed on to an impeachment resolution led by Representatives David Cicilline, Jamie Raskin and Ted Lieu charging Mr Trump with inciting the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan 6th, seeking to have him both removed from office and prevented from ever holding office again. That's set to be the main vehicle for House action.

If the Democratic-majority House impeaches Mr Trump, as expected, Mrs Pelosi could delay sending the resolution to the Senate to prevent the trial from interrupting the beginning of Joe Biden's administration. That would give the new president time to get Cabinet members confirmed and focus on legislative priorities.

"Let's give president-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running. And maybe we will send the articles some time after that," Representative James Clyburn, a member of House Democratic leadership, said Sunday on CNN.

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Mr Biden is treading carefully. He said last week that impeachment is a matter for Congress to decide, but he also said his inauguration would be the quickest way to get Mr Trump out of office. His transition staff declined to comment on the latest moves by House Democrats.

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