House Impeaches Trump For Second Time Senate Must Now Weigh Conviction
WASHINGTON The House impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday for a second time, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the violent riot by a pro-Trump mob in the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead and terrorized lawmakers as they sought to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The vote to impeach passed the Democratic-controlled House by 232-197, with 10 Republicans voting against Trump. It was the most bipartisan vote on a presidential impeachment in history, doubling the five Democrats who voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998.
The House is expected to immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate, requiring it to begin the process of holding a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from ever running for any federal office again.
Invoking The 25th Amendment
On the evening of January 6, CBS News reported that Cabinet members were discussing invoking the 25th Amendment. The ten Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, led by U.S. Representative David Cicilline, sent a letter to Pence to “emphatically urge” him to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare Trump “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, claiming that he incited and condoned the riots. For invocation, Pence and at least eight Cabinet members, forming a simple majority, would have to consent. Additionally, if challenged by Trump, the second invocation would maintain Pence as acting president, subject to a vote of approval in both houses of Congress, with a two-thirds supermajority necessary in each chamber to sustain. However, Congress would not have needed to act before January 20 for Pence to remain acting president until Biden was inaugurated, per the timeline described in Section 4.
On the same day, the House of Representatives voted to call for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. The resolution passed with 223 in favor, 205 against, and 5 not voting Adam Kinzinger was the only Republican to join a unified Democratic Caucus.
Presidential Campaign And 2011 Hints At Presidential Run
In 2000, Trump ran in the California and Michigan primaries for nomination as the Reform Party candidate for the 2000 United States presidential election but withdrew from the race in February 2000. A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support.
In 2011, Trump speculated about running against President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, making his first speaking appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2011 and giving speeches in early primary states. In May 2011, he announced he would not run, and he endorsed Mitt Romney in February 2012. Trump’s presidential ambitions were generally not taken seriously at the time.
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All Eyes On Mcconnell
McConnell believes that Trump committed impeachable offenses and considers the Democrats impeachment drive an opportunity to reduce the divisive, chaotic presidents hold on the GOP, a Republican strategist told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
And McConnell told major donors over the weekend that he was through with Trump, said the strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe McConnells conversations. His wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, resigned from Trump’s Cabinet soon after the riots.
But despite sending signals, McConnell has been characteristically quiet in public. In a note to colleagues Wednesday released by his office, McConnell said he had not made a final decision on how I will vote.
If McConnell voted to convict, other Republicans would surely follow. But no GOP senators have said how they will vote, and two-thirds of the Senate is needed.
Still, some Republicans have told Trump to resign, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and few are defending him.
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has said he would take a look at what the House approves but stopped short of committing to support it.
Other Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, long a key ally of the president, has been critical of his behavior in inciting the riots but said impeachment will do far more harm than good.
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Trump Impeached For 2nd Time
The riot also forced a reckoning among some Republicans, who have stood by Trump throughout his presidency and largely allowed him to spread false attacks against the integrity of the 2020 election.
During debate on the article of impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Republicans and Democrats to “search their souls” ahead of the historic afternoon vote.
Former President Donald Trump Acquitted In 2nd Impeachment Trial
Donald Trump is the only U.S. president to be impeached twice.
Exactly a month and a week after insurrectionists incited a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, former President Donald Trump‘s second impeachment trial came to a climactic end on Saturday afternoon, with Trump being acquitted for his alleged role of inciting the deadly event. A majority of senators voted to convict the former president, but failed to reach the super majority threshold needed for a conviction.
“This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago,” Trump said in a statement.
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!” the statement continued.
Drama ensued on the Senate floor Saturday morning when senators voted to hear from witnesses. However, after a roughly one-hour recess, the Senate determined no witnesses would be called, and opted instead to admit into evidence written testimony from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.
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Senate Acquits Trump In Impeachment Trial Again
A majority of senators voted to hold Trump guilty on one charge of inciting an insurrection, but the 57-43 tally fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. In all, seven Republicans voted to convict the former president, making Saturday’s vote the most bipartisan in a presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.
“While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute,” Biden said. “Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol.”
Until his comments on Saturday, Biden had remained mostly silent about his predecessor’s impeachment, telling reporters last week that he did not even plan to watch the trial. He neither fully supported nor opposed the vote by the House of Representatives last month to impeach Trump, saying he wanted to leave the matter up to Congress. He also declined to say whether the Senate should move to convict.
Trump Impeachment: Here’s How The Process Works
Trump became the first president impeached twice.
Former President Donald Trump faces an unprecedented second impeachment trial this week. Adding to the historic nature of the proceeding is that he is no longer in office and the members of the Senate who will decide his fate are among the victims in the Capitol siege, which he is accused of instigating.
The House of Representatives voted 232-197 on Jan. 13 to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time for his role in the of the Capitol, which occurred as a joint session of Congress was ratifying the election of President Biden.
The extraordinary step of a second impeachment, which charged Trump with incitement of insurrection, took place just days before Trump was set to leave office. Only two other presidents — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — have been impeached and none have been convicted.
Unlike Trumps first impeachment in 2019 , 10 members of the House GOP, including conference chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., voted for impeachment and denounced the presidents actions. Democratic House impeachment managers argued in a brief ahead of his trial, which starts in earnest Feb. 9, that Trump bore “unmistakable” responsibility for the siege and called it a “betrayal of historic proportions.”
“He summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue,” the managers wrote.
Here’s how the impeachment process works:
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‘he Must Be Convicted It’s That Simple’: Impeachment Managers’ Close Their Case
Van der Veen reiterated one of the defense team’s central arguments: that a president no longer in office can not be impeached, a claim disputed by many constitutional scholars.
He also argued that Trump’s due-process rights were violated and that his speech is protected under the First Amendment.
“They have carried out a grossly unconstitutional effort to punish Mr. Trump for protected First Amendment speech. It’s an egregious violation of his constitutional rights,” he said. “It is an unprecedented action with the potential to do grave and lasting damage to both the presidency, and the separation of powers and the future of democratic self government.”
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., had spent a good deal of his arguments this week claiming that as a president, not all of his words are, in fact, protected as free speech.
“They present President Trump as merely, like a guy at a rally expressing a political opinion that we disagree with and now we’re trying to put him in jail for it,” he said earlier this week. “That has nothing to do with the reality of these charges or his constitutional offense.”
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney arrives at the Capitol for the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Saturday. Romney was one of the seven GOP senators who voted to convict.hide caption
Pelosi Delivers Remarks On Impeachment: Trump Presents A ‘clear And Present Danger’
Many House Republicans argued during the debate that Trump was not afforded due process and that the impeachment process was rushed. Some said impeaching Trump for a second time would only further divide the country, while others maintained that his actions on Jan. 6 did not meet the legal standard for incitement.
“I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake, Kevin McCarthy of California, the top House Republican, said during the debate.
“No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held, he added. A vote to impeach will further fan the flames of partisan division. But McCarthy said Trump needed to accept his share of responsibility for the riot, and he said a congressional censure would be in order.
Other Republicans cried hypocrisy, criticizing Democrats for their support for the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the country last summer.
“For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Trump in Congress. Some have cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame. Well, they lit actual flames.”
It is unclear what will happen in the Senate once the trial begins. Although Trump is likely to have already left office by then, a vote to convict him could still bar him from holding federal office again.
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‘the Footage Is Horrific’: Senators React To Gripping New Video Of Capitol Riot
The video demonstrated how close rioters came to then-Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress. And the impeachment managers argued that the video showed clearly that the mob of pro-Trump supporters was there for the president, and many believed they were there at the president’s behest.
The impeachment managers, however, made a broader case than Trump’s comments on Jan. 6. They argued that Trump laid the groundwork for false grievance on the part of his supporters with two months of baseless claims of widespread election fraud that cost him the electionand years, in fact, of tolerating, condoning and encouraging violence.
After Speaking Out On Impeachment Herrera Beutler Heads Toward Clash With Her Party
“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” he said, “and having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”
McConnell rebuked Trump for his actions after the insurrection as well.
“He did not do his job. He didn’t take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored,” he continued.
“No. Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily happily as the chaos unfolded,” he said. “Even after it was clear to any reasonable observer that Vice President Pence was in serious danger.”
But McConnell said that the process of impeachment and conviction is a “limited tool” and that he believes Trump is not “constitutionally eligible for conviction.”
“The Constitution gives us a particular role. This body is not invited to act as the nation’s overarching moral tribunal,” he said.
He said that the text of the question of constitutionality is “legitimately ambiguous” and that he “respects” his colleagues for reaching either the conclusion to acquit or convict.
Seven Republicans broke ranks with their party in voting for a conviction.
Michael van der Veen, defense lawyer for former President Donald Trump, gives closing arguments during Trump’s second impeachment trial on February 13, 2021.hide caption
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Security Around Capitol Tightens Ahead Of Second Impeachment Vote Inauguration Day
Lawmakers arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday morning to debate the impeachment article just one week after the attack, entering a now heavily guarded building swarming with thousands of National Guard members.
Hundreds of the armed officers slept at the Capitol on Tuesday night. The Senate Historical Office said it was aware of only two other occasions during which troops stayed overnight in the Capitol: during World War II and during the riots in Washington in 1968.
The “incitement of insurrection” article of impeachment was introduced Monday by three House Democrats: Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Ted Lieu of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island. It says Trump has “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of government,” the five-page article of impeachment continues. He thereby betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
The article also cites Trump’s Jan. 2 phone call urging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results as part of his effort “to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.”