Trump becomes first president in US to be impeached twice
Donald Trump has become the first United States President to be impeached twice, this time for "incitement of insurrection" at Capitol last week. A majority in the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump, just a week before he is slated to exit office to make way for successor Joe Biden. Biden will be sworn-in on January 20. Here's what happened.
10 Republicans broke ties with Trump, stage set for Senate-trial
Unlike his first impeachment in 2019, when almost no one from the President's party supported his ouster, Wednesday's campaign got the support of 10 Republicans. 232 members voted to impeach him, as against 197 who thought otherwise. He will now be up for a trial in Senate after his term ends. If he is convicted there, Trump will be barred from holding office again.
Lawmakers met in Capitol, which was defiled by Trump's supporters
The impeachment effort, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, concluded after several hours of debate. The lawmakers argued in the same building where a pro-Trump mob had wreaked havoc on January 6. The invaders tried derailing the congressional session called to certify Biden's win and managed to do just that. They scaled walls, clashed with cops, and ransacked offices. In the violence, five died.
Article of impeachment said Trump 'repeatedly issued false statements'
The violence at the US democracy's seat was blamed on Trump and his words. Since November, the defeated President has leveled unfounded allegations about the polls being stolen by Democrats, has told his supporters he "won't give up," and has even approached courts. Referring to these actions, the article of impeachment underlined Trump "repeatedly issued false statements" that the election outcome shouldn't be accepted.
'He endangered the security of US'
The article said he "willfully made statements to the crowd that encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the Capitol." "President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government, threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of government," the sole article of impeachment added.
Republican Party's number three leader in House supported Trump's impeachment
The Republicans who broke ties with Trump are — the party's number three leader in the House Liz Cheney (Wyoming); Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington); John Katko (New York); Adam Kinzinger (Illinois); Fred Upton (Michigan); Dan Newhouse (Washington); Peter Meijer (Michigan); Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio); David Valadao (California); and Tom Rice (South Carolina). Cheney issued a blistering statement denouncing Trump and his actions.
President summoned and assembled mob: Cheney
"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney's statement read. She also claimed there had "never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States."
Kevin McCarthy said impeaching Trump would be a 'mistake'
Several Republicans didn't seek to defend Trump's actions during the session but argued that impeachment will further divide the nation. Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader, said, "Impeaching the President in such a short time frame would be a mistake. That doesn't mean the President's free from fault. The President bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters."
'He must go,' said Pelosi while calling Trump dangerous
But the Democrats remained determined with Pelosi saying, "He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love." Jim McGovern, a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts who opened the session, said, "We are debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene, and we wouldn't be here if it weren't for the president of the United States."
Trump told Americans he doesn't stand for violence, urged peace
Meanwhile, Trump released a statement, taking a reconciliatory tone while condemning the violence. "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, (sic)" he said. He asked Americans to help "calm tempers and ease tensions."