Donald Trump is ‘protected by the constitution’ claims lawyer
The Democratic-led House of Representatives plans to vote as soon as Wednesday on formal charges of misconduct, known as articles of impeachment unless Trump resigns or Vice President Mike Pence moves to oust him under a provision in the US Constitution. The House will vote later on Tuesday on a resolution calling on Pence, a Republican, to invoke the 25th Amendment, a never-before-used law that allows a majority of the Cabinet to strip the president of power if he or she is unable to discharge the office’s duties. Mr Pence’s advisers say he is opposed to the idea.
Donald Trump’s impeachment attorney in 2020, Robert Ray has hit out at the “empty ultimatum” with the amendment plan.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mr Ray said: “The 25th amendment route is an empty ultimatum, not the least of which because it requires a presidential disability and that’s not what this situation cannot be covered by that.
“I understand that the Democrats want to proceed down the road of impeachment in the event that the 25th amendment is not invoked.
“I think the best course here if you want to sanction the president’s conduct is to have an impeachment and just let it stand at that and not send it on to the United States Senate.
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“I’m also inclined to agree with David Kendall who represented President Clinton during the Clinton impeachment to the effect that the most appropriate sanction that is achievable now is for there to be a censure resolution.”
He added: “I think it’s achievable.
“I think it’s something that sends a strong signal.”
President Trump has since said there was tremendous anger about moves to impeach him but added he did not want violence.
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Making his first public appearance since the rampage that killed five, Mr Trump lambasted Democrats for pushing ahead with the impeachment drive.
“This impeachment is causing tremendous anger,” Mr Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to the US-Mexico border wall near Alamo, Texas.
He also defended the remarks he made last week to a rally of his supporters immediately before some of them stormed the Capitol, saying, “I want no violence.”
The Republican president, however, did not answer a reporter’s question about whether he would resign.
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The violence at the Capitol last week caused a serious rift between Mr Trump and Mr Pence, and the two men did not speak for days, although they did meet at the White House on Monday.
A senior administration official said they discussed the violence.
“The two had a good conversation, discussing the week ahead and reflecting on the last four years of the administration’s work and accomplishments,” the official added.
If Trump has not stepped down and Pence has not taken action by Wednesday, Democratic leaders plan to bring impeachment to the House floor, one week after a riot that forced lawmakers into hiding for hours and left behind five dead, including a police officer.
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