Videos of Donald Trump partying with with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and making a racist remark about Native Americans before Congress in the 1990s have re-emerged, piling pressure on the embattled president.
Mr Trump had claimed he is “not a fan” of Epstein, having previously described him as a “terrific guy” in an interview with New York magazine, but the pair can be seen laughing, joking and ogling women at a party at the president’s Florida retreat Mar-a-Lago in the footage shot in 1992.
The president remains under fire for the racist tweets he posted on Sunday telling four Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”, with the House of Representatives voting in favour of a resolution condemning his actions on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, the House prepared Wednesday to easily derail a maverick Democrat’s drive to the president, an effort that party leaders consider a premature exercise that needlessly forces vulnerable swing-district lawmakers to cast a perilous and divisive vote.
The resolution by Texas Democrat Al Green, which cites Mr Trump’s “racist” comments imploring Democratic congresswomen of colour to go back to their native countries, had no chance of prevailing.
But even facing certain defeat, the vote risked deepening the already raw rift between liberal Democrats itching to oust Mr Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders.
Top Democrats prefer waiting to see if a stronger case for removal can be developed that would win broader public support, and they’re eagerly awaiting next week’s scheduled testimony to two House committees by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Recent polling has shown majorities oppose impeachment. Even if the House voted to impeach Mr Trump, which would amount to filing formal charges, the Republican-run Senate would be unlikely to remove him from office.
Ms Pelosi noted that six House committees are conducting investigations of Mr Trump and said, “That is the serious path we’re on.”
The showdown over Mr Green’s resolution also comes amid tensions between Ms Pelosi and the same four progressive Democratic women who Mr Trump targeted.
Additional reporting by AP. Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load