House Democrats on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump for inciting a mob that attacked the Capitol last week, vowing to press the charge as Republicans blocked a separate move to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to strip him of power under the 25th Amendment.
The dual actions came as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her caucus sought to ratchet up pressure on Mr. Pence to intervene and push Mr. Trump to resign. If they did not, the Democrats promised immediate consequences for Mr. Trump’s role in an attack that put the lives of the vice president, members of Congress and thousands of staff working on Capitol Hill at risk as officials met to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
“The president’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action,” Ms. Pelosi said on Monday.
As expected, Republicans objected to a resolution calling on Mr. Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, meaning that the House would have to call a full vote on the measure, most likely on Tuesday. Democratic leaders were confident it would pass, and pressured Republican lawmakers to vote with them to beseech the vice president, who is said to be opposed to using the powers outlined in the Constitution, to do so.
It was a remarkable threat. If Mr. Pence does not intervene “within 24 hours” after passage and the president does not resign, House leaders said they would move as early as Wednesday to consider the impeachment resolution on the floor, just a week after the attack. Already more than 210 Democrats have signed onto the leading charge, just shy of a majority of the House. Several Republicans were said to be considering voting to impeach for the first time, though party leaders were opposed.
“There may well be a vote on impeachment on Wednesday,” Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, told reporters. He also pushed back against those arguing the House should delay sending the case to the Senate for trial until after Mr. Biden has a chance to fill his cabinet and pass coronavirus relief legislation.
“Whether impeachment can pass the United States Senate is not the issue,” he said. “The issue is we have a president who most of us believe participated in encouraging an insurrection and attack on this building, and on democracy and trying to subvert the counting of the presidential ballot.”
The four-page impeachment article charges Mr. Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States” when he sowed bogus claims about election fraud and encouraged his supporters at a rally outside the White House to take extraordinary measures to stop the counting of electoral votes underway at the Capitol. A short time later, rioters mobbed the building, ransacking the seat of American government and killing a Capitol Police officer. (Four others also died as a result of injuries or medical emergencies on Capitol grounds.)
Last minute changes were made late Sunday to include a reference to the 14th Amendment, the post-Civil War era addition to the Constitution that prohibits anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States from holding future office. Lawmakers also decided to cite specific language from Mr. Trump’s speech last…