Donald Trump on Wednesday became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice as 10 Republican associates joined House Democrats to accuse him of inciting riots at the Capitol last week..
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted 232 to 197. It seemed unlikely that a quick impeachment would lead to resignation. Donald Trump until the end of his four-year term and the inauguration of the Democratic President-elect Joe Biden January 20th.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected calls from Democrats for a swift impeachment process, saying it cannot be completed before Trump leaves office. But even when Trump leaves the White House, Senate condemnation of the outgoing president could lead to a vote to bar him from running again for senior government positions..
Biden said it was important that the Senate impeachment trial in his early days did not delay work on legislative priorities, including cabinet approval, and urged Senate leaders to find a way to do both at the same time..
The House of Representatives passed the only clause of impeachment, accusing Trump of «incitement to rebellion», focusing on an incendiary speech he gave a week earlier to thousands of supporters shortly before a crowd of Trump supporters raged in the Capitol.
An out of control crowd foiled the official announcement of Biden’s victory over Trump in the November 3 election, forced lawmakers into hiding, and resulted in the deaths of five people, including a policeman..
During his speech, Trump reiterated his claims that the election was rigged and urged supporters to march to the Capitol to «stop stealing», «show strength», «fight much harder» and use «completely different rules».
In a video message released after the House of Representatives action on Wednesday, Trump did not mention the impeachment vote and did not take responsibility for his remarks last week, but condemned the violence..
«Crowd violence goes against everything that I believe in and against everything that our movement stands for. None of my true supporters will ever support political violence. None of my true supporters can ever show disrespect for law and order.», – Trump said.
With thousands of rifle-armed National Guard soldiers inside and outside the Capitol, an emotional debate unfolded in the same chamber of the House of Representatives where MPs climbed under their seats and donned gas masks on January 6 as rioters clashed with police outside the courtroom doors..
«The President of the United States instigated this uprising, this armed uprising against our common country, said the Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in the hall of the House of Representatives before the vote. – He must go. He poses a clear and real danger to the nation we all love.».
In a later ceremony, she signed an impeachment article before she was sent to the Senate, stating that she did. «unfortunately heartbroken knowing what this means for our country».
No US president has ever been removed from office by impeachment. Three – Trump in 2019, Bill clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868 – previously impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted by the Senate.
Democrat Congressman Joaquin Castro named Trump «the most dangerous person ever to occupy the Oval Office». Congressman Maxine Waters accused Trump of wanting to foment a civil war, and her Democrat colleague Jim McGovern said the president «provoked an attempted coup».
Some Republicans have argued that impeachment is a rush to sentencing, bypassing the usual deliberative process such as hearings, and called on Democrats to abandon this attempt for the sake of national unity..
«It would be a mistake to impeach the president in such a short time, – said Kevin McCarthy, Chief Republican of the House of Representatives. – This does not mean that the president is released from the charges. President is responsible for the rioters’ attack on Congress on Wednesday».
Trump’s closest allies such as the Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, went even further, accusing the Democrats of reckless actions out of purely political interests.
«It’s about becoming president of the United States, said Jordan, who received the President’s Medal of Freedom from Trump in a private ceremony at the White House this week. – It was always about getting the presidency, no matter what. This is their obsession.».
Ten Republicans voted to impeach, including Liz Cheney, # 3 Republican in the House of Representatives.
«I do not choose the side, I choose the truth, – said the Republican Jamie Herrera Beitler, declaring their support for impeachment and eliciting applause from the Democrats. – This is the only way to defeat fear».
According to the US Constitution, impeachment in the House of Representatives initiates a Senate trial. It will take a two-thirds majority to convict and remove Trump, which means that at least 17 Republicans in the 100-member House will have to join the Democrats..
McConnell said the trial could not begin until the Senate returns to sit next Tuesday, the day before Biden’s inauguration. Litigation will continue in the Senate even after Trump leaves office.
McConnell, who is reportedly very angry with Trump, told his fellow Republicans in a memo that he has yet to make a final decision on how he will vote on impeachment in the Senate..
Leader of the Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer, who is due to become Majority Leader at the end of this month, said that regardless of the time, «there will be an impeachment process in the United States Senate; there will be a vote to condemn the president for grave crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is found guilty, there will be a vote to deprive him of the right to run again».
Biden said working on the economy, enforcing the coronavirus vaccination program and reaffirming important cabinet posts should not be delayed due to Senate litigation.
«I hope the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their constitutional impeachment duties while working on other urgent matters for the country.», – he stated.
The siege of the Capitol has raised fears of political violence in the United States that was once considered almost unthinkable. FBI warns of planned armed protests in Washington DC and all capitals of all 50 US states ahead of Biden’s inauguration.
Impeachment is a remedy devised by America’s founders in the 18th century to allow Congress to remove a president who, according to the Constitution, committed «high treason, convicted of bribery or other serious crimes and misconduct». If Trump had been ousted before January 20, VP Mike Pence would become president and serve his term.
The House of Representatives of Congress impeached Trump after he ignored calls for his resignation, and Pence rejected Democratic demands to apply the constitutional provision to remove the president..
The House of Representatives previously voted to impeach Trump in December 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection with his request for Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden ahead of the elections, as the Democrats accused him of inciting foreign interference in order to tarnish domestic political life. In February 2020, the Senate voted to keep Trump in power.