Trump impeached for second time

Donald Trump is the first US president to be impeached twice. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump is the first US president to be impeached twice. Photo: Reuters
The House of Representatives has made Donald Trump the first US president to be impeached twice, formally charging him with inciting an insurrection just a week after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol.

Wednesday's vote in the Democratic-controlled House was 232-197 following a deadly assault on American democracy, with 10 Republicans joining the Democrats in backing impeachment of the president in his waning days in power.

But it appeared unlikely that the extraordinarily swift impeachment would lead to Trump's ouster before the Republican president's four-year term ends and Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20.

In a video statement released by The White House after the House's action, Trump did not mention the impeachment vote and took no responsibility for his remarks to supporters last week, but condemned the violence.

"Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law and order," Trump said.

The Senate's Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, rejected Democratic calls for an immediate impeachment trial, saying there was no time to conclude a trial before Trump leaves office.

The House passed a single article of impeachment - a formal charge - accusing Trump of "incitement of insurrection," focused on an incendiary speech he delivered to thousands of supporters shortly before the pro-Trump mob rampaged through the Capitol on January 6.

The mob disrupted the formal certification of Biden's victory over Trump in the November 3 election last year, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead, including a police officer.

During his speech last week, Trump repeated false claims that the election was fraudulent and exhorted supporters to march on the Capitol.

With thousands of rifle-carrying National Guard troops inside and outside the Capitol, an emotional debate unfolded in the same House chamber where lawmakers had crouched under chairs and donned gas masks on January 6 as rioters clashed with police officers outside the doors.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presides over the vote to impeach President Donald Trump, on the...
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presides over the vote to impeach President Donald Trump, on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington. Photo: Reuters
"The president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said on the House floor before the vote.

"He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."

No US president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. Three leaders - Trump in 2019, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868 - previously were impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.

The impeachment comes at a time of gaping political divisions in a pandemic-ravaged United States near the end of a tumultuous presidency in which Trump governed with a right-wing populist message preaching "America First."

Democratic congressman Julian Castro, a former presidential candidate, called Trump "the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office."

Congresswoman Maxine Waters accused Trump of wanting civil war and fellow Democrat Jim McGovern said the president "instigated an attempted coup."


Some Republicans argued that the impeachment drive was a rush to judgement that bypassed the customary deliberative process such as hearings and called on Democrats to abandon the effort for the sake of national unity and healing.

"Impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake," said Kevin McCarthy, the House's top Republican. "That doesn't mean the president is free from fault. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters."

Trump's closest allies, such as Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, went further, accusing Democrats of recklessly acting out of pure political interest.

"This is about getting the president of the United States," said Jordan, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump in a private White House ceremony this week. "It's always been about getting the president, no matter what. It's an obsession."

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Reuters
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Reuters


Ten Republicans voted to impeach, including Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican.

"I am not choosing a side, I'm choosing truth," Republican Jamie Herrera Beutler said in announcing her support for impeachment, drawing applause from Democrats. "It's the only way to defeat fear."

In a break from standard procedure, Republican House leaders refrained from urging their members to vote against impeachment, calling the vote a matter of individual conscience.

Under the US Constitution, impeachment in the House triggers a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds majority would be needed to convict and remove Trump, meaning at least 17 Republicans in the 100-member chamber would have to join the Democrats.

McConnell has said no trial could begin until the Senate was scheduled to be back in regular session on January 19, one day before Biden's inauguration. The trial would proceed in the Senate even after Trump leaves office.

"Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week," McConnell said in a statement.

McConnell said in a memo to his fellow Republicans that he had not made a final decision on how he will vote on impeachment in the Senate.

The Capitol siege raised concerns about political violence in the United States once considered all but unthinkable. The FBI has warned of armed protests planned for Washington and all 50 US state capitals ahead of Biden's inauguration.

Trump on Wednesday urged his followers to remain peaceful, saying in a statement: "I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for."

Impeachment is a remedy devised by America's 18th century founders to enable Congress to remove a president who has, according to the Constitution, committed "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours." If Trump is removed before January 20, Vice President Mike Pence would become president and serve out his term.

The House impeached Trump after he ignored calls for his resignation and Pence rebuffed Democratic demands to invoke a constitutional provision to remove the president.

The House previously voted to impeach Trump in December 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from his request that Ukraine investigate Biden and his son Hunter ahead of the election, as Democrats accused him of soliciting foreign interference to smear a domestic political rival. The Senate in February 2020 voted to keep Trump in office.

Wednesday's article of impeachment accused Trump of "incitement of insurrection," saying he provoked violence against the US government in his speech to supporters. The article also cited Trump's January 2 phone call asking a Georgia official to "find" votes to overturn Biden's victory in the state.

During his January 6 speech, Trump falsely claimed he had defeated Biden, repeated unfounded allegations of widespread fraud and irregularities in a "rigged" election, told his supporters to "stop the steal," "show strength," "fight much harder" and use "very different rules" and promised to go with them to the Capitol, although he did not.

"If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore," Trump told supporters.

Democrats could also use a Senate impeachment trial to try to push through a vote blocking Trump from running for office again.

Lawmakers delivered speech after speech, wearing masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is a moment of truth, my friends," Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly told his colleagues ahead of the vote. "Are you on the side of chaos and the mob or are on the side of constitutional democracy and our freedom?"


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The obscene, irrational, vindictive hatred of the democrats knows no bounds; 'how dare Trump defeat Hillary!'
There was a time when Dems and Republicans agreed to disagree, and work together now and then for the good of the country---no more.

'Hillary' has nothing to do with it. Republicans supported the move. America is struggling back to rationality.

Projection: Do you know what this is peter35? I'm sure you don't, so I'll explain.

It's when you express your own feelings onto others and claim they are exhibiting what you're feeling. You've got a bad case of it.

You also need to know that NZers, as a whole, don't share Americans emotional attachment to your twice impeached ex president. Your hateful sentiments would best be served by posting them on an American news site, as opposed to the ODT.

Hateful?, I see you projecting your hateful sentiments on various people and yet you think you're right?, give me a break....

The people who support tRump are exactly the same types as the people who supported Hitler.
tRump used Hitler's playbook. He has spent years inciting them and trying to create his own army of maga hat wearing Brown Shirts.
Ironically, the modern media and social media environment that he has used has been his undoing. While he has been able to frighten and fool the dumbest and most cowardly people in society, it has all been visible. The majority, the good people, could see him in action.

C'mon gRizz, you know and I know he didn't incite anybody, incitement is when you literally call for violence, now you show me where he did that eh.

People are so wound up and invested in taking down Donald Trump (at any cost), they totally miss the point. They are blinded by their rage. When he goes, the problems won't be fixed. The issues that he stood against will still be there, along with the 75 million people who are trying to change the corrupt elitist political system.
It's like all the people that said "I can't wait for 2020 to be over" and then woke up on the first of January and were surprised that nothing had changed.

I think you'll find that once twice impeached ex president Trump is jailed for sedition and it becomes clear that the Kraken of evidence that the election was fraudulent turns out to be as mythical as the beast they chose to name it for, that the problem you outline will dissipate quickly.

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