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Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Donald Trump Becomes First President To Be Impeached For A SECOND TIME With Republicans Joining Democrats To Charge Him With 'Incitement Of Insurrection' 232-197


The House voted Wednesday 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time for 'incitement of insurrection,' exactly a week after the MAGA mob stormed Capitol Hill.  

The Democratic majority was joined by 10 Republicans, making the House's move bipartisan - unlike Trump's first impeachment less than 13 months ago.  

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would not bring the Senate back before January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. It means that Trump cannot be removed from office before he leaves anyway. 

The House voted Wednesday 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time for 'incitement of insurrection,' exactly a week after the MAGA mob stormed Capitol Hill.  

The Democratic majority was joined by 10 Republicans, making the House's move bipartisan - unlike Trump's first impeachment less than 13 months ago.  



But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would not bring the Senate back before January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. It means that Trump cannot be removed from office before he leaves anyway. McConnell's move was revealed as the House debated the impeachment article. Then he added to the drama with a statement suggesting he could convict, saying: 'While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.' 

Just before he entered history as the first president to be impeached twice, the White House put out a statement from Trump, which called for peace but did not address his impeachment.

'In light of reports of more demonstrations, 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. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You,' the president's statement said. 

The call for calm did nothing to quell a Republican rebellion against him, led by the House number three Liz Cheney, which ended with a total of 10 GOP members voting to impeach Trump.

Halfway through the debate another defiant Republican, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, said: 'Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option.

'A vote against impeachment is a vote to validate this unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation's capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump's inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed.' 

'Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office,' Newhouse added. His floor speech got Democratic applause.

The 10 votes make the impeachment the most bipartisan ever, another historical marker which also creates a deep split in the Republican party which is unlikely to end with Trump's departure. 

The vote ended with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, in the chair, declaring the count of 232 to 197 - but with silence from the Democrats and handful of Republicans still present. Pelosi had warned her members not to celebrate the outcome.

It concluded a day of debate in which Pelosi had called Trump a 'clear and present danger,' as Democrats said they were standing in a 'crime scene' and demanded that Trump pay a price for a campaign of 'lies and conspiracy theories' which had fomented violence.  

Trump's Republican allies did not defend Trump's behavior, but instead pitched censuring the president or launching a 9/11-style commission, more fitting punishments they argued for someone who was already leaving office. 

Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, went as far to say Trump's conduct was impeachable, but wouldn't vote for the article, calling it 'flawed.'  

The Republican revolt was led by Cheney, the number three in the caucus and party royalty as the daughter of the former vice president Dick Cheney.

She had issued a fiery denunciation of Trump when she announced her vote 24 hours earlier, saying he 'lit the flame on insurrection' but did not speak on the floor.

In the Senate, which will have to hold a trial of Trump in the wake of the vote as soon as it receives the article, McConnell's announcement that he is willing to convict raises new questions about how Republicans will vote when the trial happens.

So far only Sen. Mitt Romney appears certain to back conviction, while on Wednesday Sen. Lindsey Graham accused McConnell of risking more violence by backing impeachment. No other Republican senator has made their position public. 

Impeachment is by a two-thirds majority of the Senate, which in principle means the 50 Democrats have to be joined by 17 Republicans, but in fact it is only a majority of those present, meaning some GOP members could stay away to let a vote go through without actively taking part.  

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer continued to push McConnell to reconvene the Senate sooner - but said there would be a trial no matter what.

'A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th,' Schumer said. 

'But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanours; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.'


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