A trio of House Democrats plan to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday for incitement of insurrection following Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol, multiple sources familiar with the efforts tell CBS News. The articles of impeachment allege Mr. Trump engaged in “high crimes and misdemeanors by willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States.”
In a one-hour call with Democratic lawmakers on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supported removing Mr. Trump from office, although a source on the call told CBS News her preference had been for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. President-elect Joe Biden deflected when asked about it on Friday, saying it was “up to Congress to decide.”
The White House on Friday called the articles of impeachment “politically motivated” and repeated Mr. Trump’s claims from the night before that he was calling for “healing and unity.”
The articles of impeachment have nearly 160 cosponsors, a sign of the broad support among House Democrats to take action in the wake of the violence at the Capitol. It was authored by Representatives Ted Lieu of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who began drafting it while sheltering in place Wednesday in the Capitol complex. They also worked with a third author, Representative Jamie Raskin.
Democrats were overwhelmingly supportive of the effort, with just one, Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader, arguing that such a move would be too divisive for the country.
Pelosi also said Friday that she had spoken to Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley about precautions that could be taken to prevent “an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a strike.”
A spokesperson for Joint Chiefs chair Mark Milley confirmed the call happened, and said he answered her questions about the process of nuclear command authority.
CBSN contributors: SARAH LYNCH BALDWIN, GRACE SEGERS, KATHRYN WATSON, CAROLINE LINTON