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Published on January 10, 2021 6:50 PM

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says it is necessary to impeach the president to protect the Constitution. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued Vice President Mike Pence an ultimatum on Sunday night — invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump in the coming days or Democrats will proceed this week with impeaching the president for an unprecedented second time.

Pelosi made clear in a letter to her members that if Pence refuses to act, Democrats will immediately move to force Trump from office for his role in inciting violent riots at the Capitol on Wednesday linked to at least five deaths, including a police officer. Pence so far has shown no willingness to meet Democrats' demands, making an impeachment vote almost certain this week.

Democrats' effort to pressure Trump to resign or forcibly remove him from office comes as the president has just 10 days left in his term. But Pelosi and other top Democrats have not been deterred by the clock, saying that Trump is "unhinged" and a seditious threat to America who warrants immediate removal. A vote to impeach Trump could happen as soon as the middle of this week.

"In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both," Pelosi said in the letter to Democrats on Sunday night laying out next steps.

The House will try to pass a measure on Monday imploring Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, through which he and the Cabinet declare Trump "incapable of executing the duties of his office, after which the Vice President would immediately exercise powers as acting president." If Republicans object, as is virtually certain, Democrats will pass the bill via a roll call vote on Tuesday.

"We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours," Pelosi wrote. "Next, we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor."