BOSTON — President Donald Trump could face an unprecedented second impeachment vote this week, and members of the state's all-Democrat congressional delegation are firmly in support of efforts to remove him from office.
A resolution filed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday charges Trump with "incitement of insurrection" for encouraging a mob to riot at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.
The impeachment article cites Trump's false claims that he won re-election and his speech to the crowd before pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol, disrupting the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, in the ensuing chaos.
"He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government," the resolution states. "He thereby betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will bring an impeachment resolution to the floor for a vote by Wednesday unless Vice President Mike Pence moves to invoke the 25th Amendment with a majority of the other Cabinet members to prematurely remove Trump from power. The president's term expires Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Salem, said Congress shouldn’t allow Trump to serve the last days of his term. He plans to vote to impeach him if a vote comes up.
"It’s never too late to do the right thing, and it’s never too late to uphold the law," Moulton said in an interview Monday. "We need to hold Trump accountable and ensure that Americans understand we won't let this happen again."
Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Westford, called Trump an "immediate threat" to the nation, and because he is unlikely to step down or be removed by his own Cabinet, she said Congress has "no choice but to move forward with impeachment."
"If he’s too dangerous to stay on Twitter, he’s certainly too dangerous to have the nuclear codes," Trahan said. "More than the immediate danger he poses over the next nine days, we need to send a message to every future president that there will be no tolerance for this kind of behavior."
Other members of the state's 11-member congressional delegation, including Reps. Richard Neal and Katherine Clark, have also said they support impeaching Trump over the Capitol riots.
If the House votes to impeach Trump, he would be the first president in history to be impeached for a second time.
Congress impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction in December 2019, but he was acquitted by the Republican-led U.S. Senate.
The U.S. Constitution allows Congress to remove presidents before their terms are finished for committing "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
If the Senate approves impeachment with a two-thirds vote, the president is convicted and removed from office. Senate Democrats would need at least 15 Republicans to join them.
Both of Massachusetts' two senators, Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, have said they support impeachment.
House Republicans have urged Democrats not to move ahead with impeachment, suggesting the move is divisive and unnecessary given that Biden will take over the White House next week. They've suggested a censure of Trump, instead of impeaching him.
Democrats say they want to prevent Trump from running for president again and say his actions have demonstrated that he is unfit to hold elected office.
"This isn't just any other president who is going to ride off into the sunset on Jan. 20, rarely to be heard from again," Moulton said. "The danger Donald Trump poses to this country won't stop with the inauguration of Joe Biden."
Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for North of Boston Media Group’s newspapers and websites. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org