Why Mcconnell Says He Voted Not Guilty
From CNN’s Adrienne Vogt
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said if former President Trump was still in office, “I would have carefully considered whether the House managers proved their specific charge.”
“But after intense reflection, I believe the best constitutional reading shows that Article II Section 4 exhausts the set of persons who can legitimately be impeached, tried or convicted. It’s the president, it’s the vice president and civil officers. We have no power to convict and disqualify a former office holder who is now a private citizen,” McConnell said.
“Donald Trump’s no longer the president. Likewise, the provision states that officers subject to impeachment and conviction shall be removed from office if convicted,” he said, emphasizing “from office.”
McConnell did not count out the possibility of Trump being tried in civil or criminal courts.
“President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office as an ordinary citizen unless the statute of limitations is run, still liable for everything he did while in office. Didn’t get away with anything yet. Yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one,” he said.
McConnell said the Senate’s decision to acquit Trump does not condone the violence on Jan. 6.
“It simply shows that senators did what the former President failed to do. We put our constitutional duty first,” he said.
The President And His Men Plot On
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who led the impeachment effort in the Intelligence Committee, argued the time is now to act against Trump since, he said, the impeachable behavior continues.
The president and his men plot on. The danger persists. The risk is real. Our democracy is at peril, said Schiff. But we are not without a remedy prescribed by the founders for just these circumstances. Impeachment. The only question is will we use it or have we fallen prey to another evil that the founders forewarned, the excess of factualism, the elevation of party over country.
What impeachment could mean for Democrats
CNNs Chris Cillizza argues the trend line in recent weeks suggests the intense focus on impeachment has . The change in public opinion is slight, yes. And it may well be temporary. But for the moment, its the sort of thing that has to make Democrats a little nervous about the path they have chosen.
Impeachment Watch Podcast: CNN political director David Chalian sat down with Bob Shrum who was a senior advisor to both Al Gores and John Kerrys presidential bids to discuss the political fallout of impeachment and how it impacts the 2020 race.
What Did House Members Say During The Debate
Ms Pelosi opened the debate, saying: “For centuries Americans have fought and died to defend democracy for the people, but very sadly now our founder’s vision of a republic is under threat from actions from the White House.
“If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.”
Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of conducting an unfair and illegitimate inquiry.
“This is an impeachment based on presumption. This is a poll-tested impeachment about what actually sells to the American people,” Mr Collins said.
0Republicans backing charges in either vote
2Democrats opposing abuse of power charge
3Democrats opposing obstruction charge
Democrats were reportedly instructed by Ms Pelosi to treat the process solemnly. She told reporters outside the chamber she was “sad” about the proceedings, and a number of Democrats reflected on their disappointment at being involved in the impeachment.
Ms Gabbard, who effectively abstained, said she believed Mr Trump was guilty of wrongdoing but that she could not support a “partisan process, fuelled by tribal animosities”.
Across the country in the 24 hours leading up to the vote, pro-impeachment protesters took to the streets. Hundreds of people gathered in Times Square in New York on Tuesday night, chanting: “Tell me who’s above the law? Nobody is above the law!”
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Gop Sen Collins: Trump Incited An Insurrection To Prevent Peaceful Transfer Of Authority
From CNNs Clare Foran
GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who was among the Republicans who voted to convict former President Trump, spoke on the Senate floor explaining her vote, saying Trump “incited an insurrection with the purpose of preventing that transfer of power from occurring.”
Instead of preventing a dangerous situation, President Trump created one. Rather than defend the Constitutional transfer of power, he incited an insurrection with the purpose of preventing that transfer of power from occurring, she said.
Collins said that Trumps actions to interfere with the peaceful transition of power the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy were an abuse of power and constitute grounds for conviction.
The record is clear that the President, President Trump abused his power, violated his oath to uphold the Constitution and tried almost every means in his power to prevent the peaceful transfer of authority to the newly elected President, she said.
My vote in this trial stems from my own oath and duty to defend the Constitution of the United States. The abuse of power and betrayal of his oath by President Trump meet the Constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors and for those reasons, I voted to convict, she said.
House Votes To Impeach Trump
The Democratic-led House of Representatives charged President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
WASHINGTON The House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in history to be charged with committing high crimes and misdemeanors and face removal by the Senate.
On a day of constitutional consequence and raging partisan tension, the votes on the two articles of impeachment fell largely along party lines, after a bitter debate that stretched into the evening and reflected the deep polarization gripping American politics in the Trump era.
Only two Democrats opposed the article on abuse of power, which accused Mr. Trump of corruptly using the levers of government to solicit election assistance from Ukraine in the form of investigations to discredit his Democratic political rivals. Republicans were united in opposition. It passed 230 to 197, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveling the vote to a close from the House rostrum.
On the second charge, obstruction of Congress, a third Democrat joined Republicans in opposition. The vote was 229 to 198.
On Wednesday, Democrats characterized his impeachment as an urgent action to stop a corrupt president whose misdeeds had unfolded in plain view from damaging the United States any further.
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First Impeachment Of Donald Trump
|First impeachment of Donald Trump|
|Members of House of Representatives vote on two articles of impeachment|
|Accused||Donald Trump, President of the United States|
|Outcome||Acquitted by the U.S. Senate, remained in the office of President of the United States|
|Voting in the U.S. Senate|
|Accusation||Article I Abuse of power|
|Votes in favor|
|Accusation||Article II Obstruction of Congress|
|Votes in favor|
|A request by U.S. President Donald Trump to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate Joe Biden and his son sparked the scandal.|
Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, was impeached for the first time by the House of Representatives of the 116th United States Congress on December 18, 2019. The House adopted two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate acquitted Trump of these charges on February 5, 2020.
Two days after the acquittal, Trump fired two witnesses who had testified about his conduct in the impeachment inquiry: Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Alexander Vindman, together with Vindman’s twin brother Yevgeny.
Leahy The Trial Presiding Officer Says He Worked Hard To Be Impartial
From CNN’s Ryan Nobles
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said he understands the important role he played as presiding judge and he worked as hard as he could to be impartial.
Well, Ive presided over hundreds of hours before. Nothing like this I, I realized the significance, he said.
When asked about the seven Republicans who voted to convict, Leahy demurred. I dont want to comment on that, I just tried to be as impartial as I possible could in that position.
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Dissent Was Not Tolerated On Either Side
The exceptions to the party line vote proved how partisan Trumps impeachment became.
Rep. Justin Amash, the former Republican from a swing district in Michigan, who was essentially chased from the GOP for his criticism of Trump, spoke on the House floor from the Democratic side of the aisle about his support for impeachment, rooted in Constitutional duty.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the Democrat from a swing district in New Jersey, saw his aides quit when he opposed impeachment this week. He may soon join the GOP, but opposed impeachment as a Democrat, along with moderate Collin Peterson of Minnesota.
Another Democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, who has not said if hell be running for reelection, opposed both impeachment articles. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine supported impeaching Trump on abuse of power, but not for obstructing Congress.
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It is not the first time Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives – the president faced a Senate trial in 2020 for an abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Here’s all you need to know.
Why was Trump impeached the first time?
On 18 December 2019, Trump, the 45th president of the US, was impeached for an abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by the House.
This stemmed from a phone call Trump made to the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, encouraging him to dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Biden jr worked for a Ukranian energy company when his father was US vice president under Barack Obama.
Trump’s administration was accused of withholding military aid from Ukraine at around that time and a White House meeting for Zelensky.
The House’s judiciary committee said Trump had “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections”.
But he was acquitted by the Senate on 5 February 2020, on a near party-line vote. Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, was the only one to break party ranks.
What does impeachment mean?
Impeachment, in US politics, is a charge of misconduct made against a public official or president.
It is a political process – not a criminal one – which is the first of a two step action which has the power to remove a current president from office.
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Where Does The Senate Come In
The Senate is tasked with handling the impeachment trial, which is presided over by the chief justice of the United States in the case of sitting presidents. However, in this unusual case, since Trump is not a sitting president, the largely ceremonial task has been left to the Senate pro tempore, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chamber’s most senior member of the majority party.
“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents,” Leahy said in a statement in January. “When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously.”
To remove a president from office, two-thirds of the members must vote in favor at present 67 if all 100 senators are present and voting.
If the Senate fails to convict, a president is considered impeached but is not removed, as was the case with both Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. In Johnsons case, the Senate fell one vote short of removing him from office on all three counts.
In this trial, since the president has already left office, the real punishment would come if the president were to be convicted, when the Senate would be expected to vote on a motion to ban the former president from ever holding federal office again.
Impeachment Of Donald Trump 2021
|Cabinet White House staff Transition team|
|Polling indexes: Opinion polling during the Trump administration|
On February 13, 2021, former President Donald Trump was acquitted of incitement of insurrection. Fifty-seven senators voted to convict and 43 voted to acquit. Conviction requires a two-thirds vote of senators present.
On January 13, 2021, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump by a vote of 232-197 for incitement of insurrection. The resolution followed the January 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, which disrupted a joint session of Congress convened to count the electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election. Ten Republicans supported the impeachment.
The resolution alleged that Trump attempted to subvert and obstruct the certification of the election results and incited a crowd to breach the Capitol, leading to vandalism, threats to members of the government and congressional personnel, the death of law enforcement, and other seditious acts. to read the resolution.
On January 12, 2021, Trump called the impeachment resolution the “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.” He added, “For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger.”
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Raskin: We Defended Our House
From CNN’s Josiah Ryan
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin hailed Democrats’ efforts to convict former President Trump as the “most bipartisan presidential impeachment in the history of the United States,” and said Democrats successfully defended Congress from Trump’s attack.
“Trump stormed our House with the mob he incited and we defended our House,” said Raskin. “He violated out Constitution and we defended the Constitution.”
“They tried to trash our democracy and we revived it, and we protected,” he added.
Raskin then pointed to remarks made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell shortly after the acquittal as proof that they had succeeded in making their argument.
“Senator Mitch McConnell just went to the floor, essentially to say that we made our case on the facts, that he believed that Donald Trump was practically and morally responsible for inciting the events of January 6th. He described it as we did, as a disgraceful dereliction of duty, a desertion of his office.”
Watch the moment here: