State Department website ‘prank’ claimed Trump presidency ended today

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FiLE – In this March 26, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(NEXSTAR) – The State Department is investigating what appears to be a “prank” after its website suggested President Donald Trump’s term would end Monday evening.

As of Monday at 12:26 p.m., the page read: “Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:40:41.”

The Department of State page for Vice President Mike Pence had a similar message Monday afternoon, reading “Michael R. Pence’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:41:00.”

The page has since been removed after garnering widespread attention on social media.

The flub comes as Trump is under growing pressure to resign and as he faces a second impeachment after his supporters stormed the Capitol last week in a bid to halt the certification of Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.

Two people familiar with the incident say the department is investigating exactly how it happened. While the department hasn’t ruled out the prospect that the entry was the work of a disgruntled employee, they have yet to reach any conclusions.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

According to Buzzfeed reporter Christopher Miller, sources told the media site that a “disgruntled staffer” is responsible for the change to Trump’s and Pence’s biographies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced over the weekend that Congress would move ahead with the impeachment of Trump, one week after an angry mob of his supporters invaded the Capitol.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a call Monday that members should plan to return to Washington on Tuesday evening to consider a House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office. That resolution is expected to pass, but Pence is unlikely to act.

Hoyer says the House will then consider impeachment on Wednesday.

House Democrats have moved quickly to draft an article of impeachment charging Trump with incitement of insurrection because he egged on thousands of his supporters ahead of the riots by falsely telling them that the election was stolen from him.

One of the Democratic sponsors of the article, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, says they have the votes to pass it.

Trump and Pence are set to leave office on Jan. 20 — Inauguration Day for 46th U.S. president Joe Biden.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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