Rep. Ilhan Omar calls for swift start to impeachment proceedings

    Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) questions witnesses during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on May 16, 2019
    WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 16: The House Foreign Affairs' Committee's Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) questions witnesses during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill May 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. Hatice Cengiz, fiancee of murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, testified before the committee. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is leading an effort to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time, following the violent siege of the Capitol on Wednesday that left four people dead and delayed Congress’s certification of the presidential election results.

    Roughly 60 representatives have signed on to articles of impeachment drafted by Omar, she said during a news conference Thursday afternoon. Omar called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reconvene the House so they can begin impeachment proceedings.

    “We are facing an imminent threat from this president, and that has to be the number one priority,” she said. “We truly do not have the ability to watch him stay in the presidency for another moment.”

    Pelosi said the House may move forward with impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The move would also require agreement from a majority of cabinet members, who Omar said “cannot be relied on upon to hold (Trump) accountable.” 

    Pence does not support removing the president from office, according to Business Insider, despite calls from Democrats and some Republicans to do so

    Omar said lawmakers’ next step should be policy reform, although she didn’t offer specifics, or the nation will be “doomed to repeat the cycle of instability and democratic backsliding.”

    Trump has attacked Omar repeatedly throughout his presidency, and she said many of her colleagues previously hadn’t comprehended the seriousness of those attacks or imagined that they could someday be targets.

    “I can’t express how torturous it is for me … to know that there are members of Congress whose lives have been changed forever by a physical threat that we have all felt, that came because of a president of our country,” she said. “It’s not only intolerable, it’s shameful, and we should all be embarrassed and angry as a nation.”

    Rilyn Eischens
    Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.