The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump again, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
Ten Republican lawmakers joined with 222 Democrats in backing the impeachment, which came a week after a pro-Trump mob violently raped the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6, fueled by baseless claims by the president that the election had been stolen from him. The final vote total was 232 for and 197 against.
Articles of impeachment are now going to the Republican-controlled Senate, where the process of removing the president from office before the end of his term appears highly unlikely.
The Senate is set to meet again on January 19, just a day before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, leaving little time for an impeachment trial and vote. In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had not made a final decision on his vote and intended to listen to legal arguments in the Senate, although he said the upper house would not come to a verdict until after Trump left.
But even if Trump is not removed from office prematurely, the vote represents another historic stain on the legacy of presidents in his final weeks in the White House, a period in which former presidents focused on a smooth transition to their successors and victory hinges on their political achievements. None of the other presidents who have been indicted, Bill Clinton or Andrew Johnson, have faced such serious charges: willful incitement to insurgency.
Our country watched in shock and horror last Wednesday as extremists inspired by presidents months of lies and reinvigorated by presidents’ speeches earlier in the day attacked the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to perpetrate the violence and undermine our democracy, said the Democratic representative. former CIA affairs official, in a statement explaining her vote to impeach Trump. Inside the building, we barricaded ourselves against the national terrorists who were there out of loyalty to a man and not out of loyalty to our country.
Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, the third-highest Republican in the Upper House, announced her support for impeachment ahead of the vote in a statement accusing Trump of mob violence that resulted in five deaths and dozens of police injured.
The President of the United States called that crowd together, gathered the crowd, and lit the flame of this attack. All that followed was his doing, Cheney said. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
The emotional crowd attacked the Capitol on January 6 after Trump spoke at a nearby rally in which he doubled down on false allegations of voter fraud and accused his own Vice President, Mike Pence, of the betraying for overseeing the largely ceremonial counting of ballots to confirm Bidens’ victory. Faced with a widespread political backlash from his own party after the riots turned deadly, Trump ultimately condemned the violence and promised an orderly transition process, but refused to disavow his debunked allegations of voter fraud.
Among the Republicans who supported the impeachment are: Cheney, Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, John Katko of New York and Fred Upton of Michigan. Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, former NFL wide receiver, also broke with his party majority to vote to impeach the president, as did Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice, the Washington Representative Dan Newhouse, and Rep. From California David Valadao. Eight of the Republicans who voted for impeachment represent districts that Trump won in the November 2020 election.
The vote came as 10,000 National Guardsmen flocked to Washington, DC, with troops setting up checkpoints and blocking traffic, underscoring fears of new security threats and violent protests as the day approaches. ‘inauguration.
National Guard troops will be armed, a move that came after a request from federal authorities was approved by Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, according to the New York Times. The guards deployed to deal with the insurgency on the U.S. Capitol last week were unarmed.
The number of guards currently in Washington is double the number of American troops expected to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Washington police chief said up to 20,000 guards could be in the capital by January 20.
The transition team said in a statement today that Biden had received a briefing from senior FBI and U.S. Secret Service officials to get as much information as possible about the threat’s image and the preparations being made. place to deter and defend against disturbance or violent attacks. .
While far from critical mass, the new voices supporting impeachment have exposed deep cracks in the Republican Party simmering behind the scenes since Trump took office. Yet the pro-Trump faction remains strong: even after the violent assault on Capitol Hill, 147 Republican lawmakers still voted to challenge Bidens’ big election victory.
But Cheneys breaks with president and backs impeachment.The most public position of a Republican leadership could mark an important moment for the Republican caucus as lawmakers decide to pass or reject Trump as the party advanced.
The political showdown comes as federal authorities announced a massive investigation into the sedition and conspiracy of some of the pro-Trump rioters and begin to piece together exactly how the January 6 violence originated. Some lawmakers have indicated that the scale and scope of the rioters’ plans were far worse than initially understood.
Some members of the Trumpist House were quick to call for Cheney’s resignation from the presidency of the House Republican Conference. She does not represent Republican voters by backing this witch-hunt political indictment of President Trump, said first-year Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been a supporter of far-right conspiracy theory. QAnon.
Even with McConnell signaling his support for impeachment or at least not speaking out against it, it remains unclear whether Democrats can secure 17 Republican votes for a two-thirds majority on impeachment. It’s also unclear if Trump has enough time left on the Senate calendar to try the president before he leaves office. To further complicate the matter: There is debate among legal experts as to whether the Senate can hold an impeachment trial for a president who has already left office.
A former US federal judge, J. Michael Luttig, argued in a Washington Post editorial that the Senate can only remove a current US president and not a former one while other constitutional law experts are not. agree with this assessment.
Other Republican lawmakers have stopped supporting impeachment, but instead tried to vote on a resolution censuring Trump for his role in inciting violence on Capitol Hill. They argued that a vote of no confidence would register Congress’ objections to the actions of presidents without further igniting partisan tensions in the same way as an impeachment vote.
Pence, who has had a dramatic falling out with the president as a result of his role in overseeing the certification of electoral votes, pushed back Democrats’ efforts to have him invoke the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows a cabinet of the president to remove him from office, triggering the impeachment vote on Wednesdays.
Update, January 13, 2021: This article was updated after a majority of House lawmakers voted to impeach Trump.
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