They conceded that conviction by the Senate, which would require a two-thirds majority, including 17 Republican defectors, remained a long shot. But some Democrats and Republicans privately reasoned that an impeachment had other benefits. If the Senate were to vote to convict, it could then proceed to bar Mr. Trump from ever holding federal office again, stamping out any prospect of him running in 2024, a possibility that some Republicans privately dread.
Among those pushing leaders toward the idea were some of the House’s most outspoken progressives, including Representatives Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and key moderates whose support for last year’s impeachment was crucial.
“We must as a country demonstrate that this kind of behavior is beyond the pale,” Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, a former national security official who represents a red district, said in a statement. “I’d prefer cabinet officials to take action, but will be ready to consider other steps, such as impeachment, in the short time we have left.”
A group of Democrats on the judiciary panel, led by Representatives David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, began circulating charges of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” They included a single count, “abuse of power,” based on Mr. Trump “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” in an effort to overturn the results of a democratically decided election. The articles also mention an explosive phone call by Mr. Trump pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” him the votes he needed to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory there.
Other articles written by Ms. Omar had roughly 60 co-sponsors, she said.
A handful of Republicans likewise sounded open to drastic action, though they discounted impeachment for practical reasons. Some Democrats similarly argued that it might not be worth the trouble of assembling and arguing a case with so little time left in office for Mr. Trump.
Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, called on Mr. Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, posting on Twitter that the president had become “unmoored not just from his duty or from his oath but from reality itself.”
Representative Tom Reed, Republican of New York and co-chairman of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, argued that the impeachment process could backfire at a time when the nation appeared to be headed for a peaceful transfer of power after Mr. Pence and Congress ratified Mr. Biden’s victory.