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R.I.’s Cicilline takes center stage in second attempt to impeach President Trump

The US congressman started drafting article of impeachment with US Representative Ted Lieu of California while they were locked down during last Wednesday’s breach of the US Capitol

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., talks to reporters just outside the House chamber after a resolution calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office was blocked by Republicans, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., talks to reporters just outside the House chamber after a resolution calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office was blocked by Republicans, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

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LEADING OFF

Happy Tuesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I highly recommend the new Tiger Woods documentary on HBO. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 100,607 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, after adding 2,788 new cases over the weekend. The most recent overall daily test-positive rate was 6.8 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 22.3 percent. The state announced 31 more deaths, bringing the total to 1,947. There were 399 people in the hospital, and 31,007 residents had received the first dose of the vaccine.

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US Representative David Cicilline is expected to announce sometime this morning that three more members of the US House of Representatives have signed on as cosponsors to the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, bringing the total to 217. 

That number is significant because it means the majority of the House is now cosponsoring the effort to punish Trump with just eight days to go before Joe Biden is sworn in as president. (There are currently two vacancies in the House.) 

Cicilline is once again taking center stage in the effort to impeach Trump, and he’s been posting the impeachment sponsor count on Twitter for most of the last week. A spokesman confirmed Monday evening that the Democrats have locked up the three additional sponsors. 

The congressman started drafting article of impeachment with US Representative Ted Lieu of California while the two were locked down in Cicilline’s office during last Wednesday’s breach of the US Capitol. Cicilline’s efforts were featured in Tuesday’s edition of “The Daily,” the popular podcast from the New York Times. 

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So what happens now? 

Cicilline will testify before the House Rules Committee later today, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed the committee to be prepared for two options: A resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to remove Trump from office using the 25th Amendment, and the article of impeachment.

Pence has not signaled that he’ll support triggering the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, so a vote to impeach could come as soon Wednesday. After that, it’s up to the US Senate to vote on whether to convict or acquit the President.  

Punchbowl reports that between 10 and 20 House Republicans are expected to support Trump’s impeachment. By comparison, no House Republicans voted to impeach Trump in 2019 when he was accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He was acquitted by the US Senate.

What’s less clear is how the Senate will handle a trial this time around. Biden has said he wants to see as many of cabinet appointees (including Governor Gina Raimondo for commerce secretary) confirmed as soon as possible, but a Trump trial could delay those plans.

THE GLOBE IN RHODE ISLAND

⚓ Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee has carved out a niche as the voice of cities and towns over the last six years, but is he ready to make the jump to the big leagues? Here’s my look at the soon-to-be 76th governor. Read more.

⚓ Judge Melissa A. Long on Monday became the first Black justice on the Rhode Island Supreme Court, saying, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it does indeed bend toward justice.” Read more.

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⚓ The corporate owners of WPRO-AM are telling radio hosts across the country to cool it with the election fraud talk. It’s worth noting that WPRO’s hosts have not exactly raced to defend Trump on the outcome of the election. Read more.

⚓ Another Rhode Islander beat Governor Raimondo to the president’s cabinet (kind of). Pete Gaynor, who had stints running emergency management for Providence and the state, will serve as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security until Biden takes office. Read more.

MORE ON BOSTONGLOBE.COM

⚓ Politics: My colleague James Pindell writes that Republicans have committed one of the worst self-inflicted political wounds in American history by seeking to point blame for last week’s breach of the US Capitol in so many directions. Read more.

⚓ SportsishBill Belichick is declining the presidential medal of freedom from President Trump. Read more.

⚓ Weird: You can buy the house where Lizzie Borden’s parents were murdered for a crisp $2 million. Read more.

⚓ Police: Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon, one of the nation’s highest-paid law enforcement officials, announced his retirement Monday, capping years of controversy that have roiled the city of 50,000. Read more.

WHAT’S ON TAP TODAY

Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ For Globe subscribers: Our six Baseball Hall of Fame voters will discuss how they voted this time around during a 6 p.m. virtual event.

⚓ The Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency meets at 12:30 p.m. to discuss whether to file a lawsuit seeking an injunction “against the Apex Companies from interfering with PRA’s rights” to do environmental testing on site.

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⚓ The Warwick School Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. to discuss school reopening  and a new attendance policy.

⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here


Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.