Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has called for criminal consequences for US President Donald Trump over the unrest at the Capitol.
Pelosi also called for Trump’s immediate resignation and threatened another impeachment process.
“Sadly, the person that’s running the Executive Branch is a deranged, unhinged, dangerous president of the United States,” the top Democrat said in a pre-released excerpt from an interview on CBS scheduled to air on Sunday.
“And we’re only a number of days until we can be protected from him.
“But he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him.”
Trump on Wednesday encouraged supporters to head to the Capitol, which led to a deadly storming of the building and halted a Congressional joint sitting that was certifying the results of the election Trump lost in November.
The Republican president’s term ends with the swearing-in of Democrat Joe Biden on January 20, but Pelosi and other Democrats argue that every day Trump stays in the White House is a danger.
Democratic lawmakers have prepared a draft resolution to impeach Trump on charges of incitement of insurrection.
However, the process would be decided in the US Senate. That it could be completed there before Biden is sworn in is virtually impossible.
The Democrats in Congress are likely to pursue a different goal. If Trump was found guilty in the Senate even after he left office, he could be banned from holding public federal offices, which would mean that he would be denied a run for the presidential election in 2024.
Trump enjoys immunity from prosecution as president. This immunity ends with his term of office.
US media have reported that after the November 3 election, Trump discussed several times with advisors about pardoning himself. The self-pardon of a president is unheard of, and it is controversial whether such a step would be legally permissible. The US constitution does not specifically exclude self-pardon.
Meanwhile, social media platform Twitter has permanently suspended Trump’s personal account from its platform, citing a risk of further incitement of violence.
Trump said afterwards that he may launch a new competing platform, and has been “negotiating with various other sites.”
Trump’s battle with the social media platform has been a long-running theme of his term in office, with him accusing it of colluding with the “radical left” to silence him and those who voted for him.
Twitter stepped up its actions against Trump’s messages in the past week in response to the unrest provoked by Trump supporters in Washington.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski on Friday became the first Republican in the Senate to call on Trump to resign after his supporters stormed the Capitol building.
Trump has said he will not attend Biden’s inauguration on January 20.