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U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference after being re-elected by Democrats as speaker on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., November 18, 2020. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

100+ Civil Society Groups Demand Trump's Immediate Impeachment as Dem Leaders Signal Delaying Action Until Next Week

"There are reports that Trump is gearing up for mass preemptive pardons... Impeach him TOMORROW."

Julia Conley

More than 100 grassroots civil society groups on Friday demanded that congressional Democrats treat the need to remove President Donald Trump from office with urgency and act today to hold him and his "co-conspirators" accountable for the insurrection which took place Wednesday at the Capitol building.

Referring to January 6 as "Treason Day" and emphasizing that Trump encouraged his followers—some of them armed—to descend on the nation's Capitol with the aim of blocking the certification of the election he decisively lost in November, the organizations said nothing less than Trump's immediate removal will protect the nation from the president. 

"Trump may have lost access to his social media accounts, but still retains the full powers of the presidency," the groups, including MoveOn, People's Action, and Greenpeace, said. "He is dangerous and must be removed from office today through the 25th amendment or impeachment."

While some of Trump's cabinet members—several of whom have resigned in the past two days—have reportedly discussed invoking the 25th Amendment, Vice President Mike Pence does not support the call, according to reports.  

Pence's reluctance to take the presidential powers away from Trump leaves House Democrats under mounting pressure to impeach the president for a second time. 

Although Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark told MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes Thursday night that Trump "must be removed from office," she tempered expectations on Friday by telling CNN that the House plans to begin impeachment proceedings "as early as mid-next week." 

With the president retaining access to the United States' nuclear codes and the ability to give military orders, "Trump should be impeached today," responded the Working Families Party. 

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which officially needs to introduce articles of impeachment against a president, expressed his support Thursday for a swift process.

"I am once again urging that the president be impeached and removed from office," Nadler said. "We have a limited period of time in which to act. The nation cannot afford a lengthy, drawn out process, and I support bringing articles of impeachment directly to the House floor."

Critics on social media pushed back against signs that the Democratic Party is delaying impeachment proceedings. 

"Pence is a coward. It's on you now, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and Sen. [Chuck] Schumer," tweeted Western New England University law professor Jennifer Taub.

The news of a possible delay of several days, Will Stancil of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity tweeted, comes as Trump is reportedly considering a slew of new pardons for his family members, personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and himself. 

"Surely we all realize, by now, that he means it," wrote Stancil Thursday. "Impeach him TOMORROW."

Rep. Ilhan Omar said Wednesday, just hours after hundreds of Trump supporters breached barricades, broke windows, and vandalized offices at the Capitol building with the apparent complicity of the Capitol police, that she was already drawing up articles of impeachment for the president. The congresswoman cited Trump's encouragement of "individuals who traveled to Washington, District of Columbia to violently attack the United States Capitol while both chambers of Congress were in session" as well as his violation of "his constitutional duty to uphold the laws of the United States when, on a recorded call, he repeatedly asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the finalized and verified results of the November 2020 Presidential election in the State of Georgia."

"Every single hour that Donald Trump remains in office, our country, our democracy, and our national security remain in danger," Omar wrote Thursday in a letter to her colleagues. "Congress must take immediate action to keep the people of this country safe and set a precedent that such behavior cannot be tolerated."

The civil society groups which supported Omar's call on Friday also demanded the removal of members of Congress who aided and abetted the president's attack on the election certification process. 

Eight Republican senators and 139 representatives ultimately contested the election results when Congress reconvened Wednesday night after the violent attack, which hours earlier had forced lawmakers to hide from armed members of the mob. 

Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) were leaders in the effort. Progressives in Congress including Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for their removal this week. 

Trump's "Republican co-conspirators, from Senators and House Members to state legislators, who fed, fueled, and fomented these attacks on our democracy must also be removed or resign," said the groups. "All those who participated in this insurrection, especially those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, must be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law once Donald Trump is removed."

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