House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats in a letter that if President Donald Trump did not resign immediately, the House would move to impeach the president, according to a report in the New York Times.
“Today, following the president’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office — immediately,” she wrote. “If the president does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.”
Pelosi also told lawmakers on Friday there was more support for impeaching Trump among Democrats now than there was the first time around, CNN reported, citing source on Democratic caucus call.
Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said moving toward impeachment would encourage a conversation on using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20, a source told Reuters.
Pelosi also said in the letter that she spoke to Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about what measures are available to rein in the Republican president. Trump, angry about his election loss, incited supporters in the days before an invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
"The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy," Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues.
While Pelosi's letter highlights the concern among lawmakers about what Trump may try to do during his remaining time in office, there are questions about what Milley or anyone could actually do to stop a president from using nuclear weapons.
"There is no legal way to do this. The president has sole, unfettered authority to order the use of nuclear weapons with no 'second vote' required," said Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California.
Milley's office said that Pelosi had initiated the call and Milley "answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority."