Trump is the only US president to be impeached twice.
In video, Trump condemns the murderous riot he fomented
The Capitol uprising stunned and angered lawmakers, who were sent to seek safety as the crowds descended, and it exposed the fragility of the national history of peaceful transfers of power. The riot also forced an account among some Republicans, who have supported Trump throughout his presidency and largely allowed him to propagate false attacks on the integrity of the 2020 election.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi invoked Abraham Lincoln and the Bible, imploring lawmakers to respect their oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign “and national.”
She said of Trump: “He has to go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation we all love.”
Held in the White House, watching the proceedings on television, Trump took no responsibility for the bloody riot observed around the world, but issued a statement urging “NO violence, NO breach of law and NO vandalism of ‘any kind’ to disrupt Biden’s rise to the White House.
Facing the charges against him and with the FBI warning of more violence, Trump said: “This is not what I stand for, and this is not what America stands for. I call ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm people. ”
Trump was first impeached by the House in 2019 for his dealings with Ukraine, but the Senate voted in 2020 to acquit. He is the first to be indicted twice. None have been condemned by the Senate, but Republicans said Wednesday that could change in the rapidly changing political environment as officials, donors, big business and others break away from the defeated president.
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell would begin an impeachment trial next Tuesday, the day before Trump is already set to leave the White House, McConnell’s office said. The legislation is also aimed at preventing Trump from running again.
McConnell believes Trump has committed uneasy crimes and sees the impeachment of Democrats as an opportunity to reduce the president’s chaotic and divisive grip on the GOP, a Republican strategist told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
McConnell told major donors over the weekend that he was done with Trump, said the strategist, who requested anonymity to describe McConnell’s conversations.
In a note to colleagues on Wednesday, McConnell said he had “not made a final decision on how I will vote.”
Unlike his first time, Trump faces this impeachment as a weakened leader, having lost his own re-election as well as the Republican majority in the Senate.
Even Trump’s ally, Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House leader, changed his stance and said on Wednesday the president bore responsibility for the horrific day on Capitol Hill.
By arguing for the constitutionally mandated “serious crimes and misdemeanors”, the four-page impeachment resolution approved Wednesday builds on Trump’s own inflammatory rhetoric and the lies he has spread about Biden’s election victory, including included at a rally near the White House on the day of the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol.
A Capitol Police officer died from injuries sustained in the riot and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people have died in what authorities have called medical emergencies. The riot delayed the electoral college’s vote count, which was the last step in finalizing Biden’s victory.
Ten Republican lawmakers, including third-ranked GOP House leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, voted to impeach Trump, dividing the Republican leadership and the party itself.
Cheney, whose father is the former Republican vice president, said of Trump’s crowd-calling actions that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president” of his office.
Trump would have been furious at the perceived disloyalty of McConnell and Cheney.
With the team around Trump hollowed out and his Twitter account silenced by the social media company, the president was deeply frustrated at not being able to retaliate, according to White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing who were not allowed to speak publicly. on private conversations.
From the White House, Trump leaned on Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to push Republican senators to resist, while Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called some of his former colleagues on Capitol Hill.
The president’s strong popularity among voters in GOP lawmakers still had some influence, and most House Republicans voted not to impeach.
Security was exceptionally tight at the Capitol, with tall fences around the complex. Metal detector projections were needed for lawmakers entering the House chamber, where a week earlier lawmakers huddled inside as police, gunning, barricaded the door against rioters.
“We are debating this historic measure at a crime scene,” said Representative Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
During the debate, some Republicans repeated Trump’s lies about the election and argued that the president had been treated unfairly by Democrats since the day he took office.
Other Republicans argued the impeachment was a hasty sham and complained of a double standard being applied to its supporters but not to the liberal left. Some simply called on the nation to move on.
California Rep Tom McClintock said, “Every move has crazy bangs.”
Still, Democratic Representative Jason Crow, D-Colo. and others recounted the painful day as rioters knocked on the bedroom door in an attempt to break in. Some have called it an attempted “coup”.
Representative Maxine Waters, D-California, claimed Trump was “capable of starting a civil war.”
Trump’s conviction and impeachment would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which will also be divided. Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling on Trump to “get out as soon as possible.”
Ignoring fears that an impeachment trial would bog down his early days in office, Biden encourages Senators to split their time between making his priorities of confirming his candidates and approving COVID-19 relief while also leading the trial.
The impeachment bill is inspired by Trump’s false claims about his electoral defeat to Biden. Judges across the country, including some appointed by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, said there was no no sign of widespread fraud.
The House initially tried to persuade Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke their authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Pence refused to do so, but the House still passed the resolution.
The impeachment bill also details Trump’s pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more voice.
While some have questioned the president’s impeachment so close to the end of his term, there is precedent. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, Secretary of War William Belknap was indicted by the House on the day he resigned, and the Senate called a trial months later. He was acquitted.
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