Trump faces impeachment charge
House Democrats have formally introduced their resolution to impeach President Donald Trump, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in last week's riots at the US Capitol.
The impeachment resolution that the House is poised to vote on later this week is the Democrats' first step toward making Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice.
The single impeachment article, which was introduced when the House held a brief session on Monday (just after 3.30am on Tuesday AEDT), points to Trump's repeated false claims that he won the election and his speech to the crowd on January 6 before pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol.
Melania Trump breaks silence on Capitol riot, hits back at her critics
It also cites Trump's call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where the President urged him to "find" enough votes for Trump to win the state.
"In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government," the resolution says.
"He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperilled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
The resolution also cites the Constitution's 14th Amendment, noting that it "prohibits any person who has 'engaged in insurrection or rebellion against' the United States" from holding office.
Pence vote blocked
Before the charge was formally declared, a House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office was blocked by Republicans.
Democrats are pushing Pence and the Cabinet to oust Trump, saying the president is is unfit for office.
Pence has given no indication he is ready to proceed on such a course, which would involve invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, including a vote by a majority of the Cabinet to oust Trump before he leaves office on January 20.
Democratic President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on that date.
'Has to happen now': House seeks to impeach Trump
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will proceed with legislation to impeach Trump this week.
A Republican senator, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, joined Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to "resign and go away as soon as possible".
Lawmakers warned of the damage the president could still do before Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20. Trump, holed up at the White House, was increasingly isolated after a mob rioted in the Capitol in support of his false claims of election fraud. Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, repeatedly dismissed cases and Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, said there was no sign of any widespread fraud.
"We will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat," Pelosi said in a letter late Sunday to colleagues emphasising the need for quick action.
"The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action."