WASHINGTON Warnings flashing, Democrats in Congress laid plans today for lightning-fast impeachment of President Donald Trump, demanding strong, immediate action to ensure an “unhinged” commander in chief can’t add to the deep damage they say he’s inflicted or even ignite nuclear war in his final days in office.
As the country comes to terms with the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, the crisis that appears to be the last of his presidency is deepening like few other periods in the nation’s history. With less than two weeks until he’s gone anyway, Democrats want him gone — now — and he has few congressional defenders speaking up for him in his own Republican party.
Today, five people, including one intruder and a Capitol police officer, were dead from Wednesday’s mayhem that stunned the world and threatened the traditional peaceful transfer of power.
“We must take action,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared on a private conference call with Democrats.
And one prominent Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, told the Anchorage Daily News that Trump simply “needs to get out.”
The final days of Trump’s presidency are spinning toward a chaotic end as he holes up at the White House, abandoned by many aides, top Republicans and Cabinet members. After fighting to overturn Biden’s victory ever since November, he has now promised a smooth transfer of power when Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20. But even so, he says he will not attend the inauguration — the fi r rst such presidential snub since the Civil War.
In Congress, where many have watched and reeled as the president spent four years breaking norms and testing the nation’s guardrails of democracy, Democrats are unwilling to take further chances with only a few days left in his term.
Pelosi said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes” for nuclear war. She said Milley assured her longstanding safeguards are in place.
The president has sole authority to order the launch of a nuclear weapon, but a military commander could refuse the order if it were determined to be illegal. Trump has not publicly made such threats, but officials warn of grave danger if the president is left unchecked.
“This unhinged president could not be more dangerous,” Pelosi said of the current situation.
Biden, meanwhile, said he is focused on his job as he prepares to take office. Asked about impeachment, he said, “That’s a decision for the Congress to make.”
The Democrats are considering swift action beginning in a matter of days. A draft of their Articles of Impeachment accuses Trump of abuse of power, saying he “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol,” according to a…