US House convenes to impeach President Trump for second time
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday opened debate on legislation to impeach outgoing President Donald Trump in connection with the violence at the US Capitol by his supporters last week that left five dead. While there's only a week left in his term, the House is expected to vote today to impeach Trump for the second time in his presidency. Here's more.
Pro-Trump mob stormed Capitol Building last Wednesday
The House of Representatives is expected to vote at 3:00pm ET Wednesday (1:30am IST Thursday) on a single article of impeachment charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection" in one of his speeches that led to rioting at the US Capitol. Last Wednesday, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol Building in Washington to stop the Congress from formally validating Joe Biden's presidential election victory.
Pence rejects efforts to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump
The Democrat-controlled House moved forward with impeachment proceedings after it called on Vice-President Mike Pence to invoke the US Constitution's 25th Amendment process to remove Trump. He, however, declined to do so in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying, "I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution."
Likely to become only US President to be impeached twice
Trump is likely to be impeached by the House for a second time, which will make him the first US President to face possible removal twice. The previous three impeachments were those of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, and Trump himself in December 2019.
Conviction depends on a two-thirds majority in US Senate
While the House is expected to pass the impeachment vote, the case will next go to the Republican-controlled Senate where a trial to determine Trump's guilt will be held. Also, a two-thirds majority would be required there to convict him. However, the Senate is unlikely to finish the trial before Trump leaves office and Biden is sworn in as the President on January 20.
Five Republican members to join Democrats to impeach Trump
Interestingly, five House members from Trump's own Republican Party said they would join the Democrats to impeach him. Republican leaders also didn't urge their members to vote against impeachment and instead said it's a "matter of individual conscience." House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, and four other Republican House members, including Jaime Herrera Beutler, John Katko, Adam Kinzinger, and Fred Upton, are supporting impeachment.
'There has never been a greater betrayal by a President'
"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution," Cheney said. She further said Trump "summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack" on the Capitol.
'Debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene'
Meanwhile, commenting on the impeachment vote, House Rules Committee chair, Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts, stated, "We are debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene...This was a well-organized attack on our country that was incited by Donald Trump." "This Capitol was stormed. People died because of the big lies that were being told by this president," he added.
An attempted coup in this country: McGovern
"The President of the United States instigated an attempted coup in this country. People died. Everybody should be outraged," said McGovern. "If this is not an impeachable offense, I don't know what the hell is," he added.