Raskin Compares Trumps Actions On January 6 To Lighting A Fire In Closing Argument
Raskin, who went on to call Cheney a “hero,” said that Trump’s team rejected the request made by managers last week for the former president to testify before Congress. Cheney, has faced wrath from within the Republican Party for refusing to apologize for her vote.
The lead manager summarized the evidence his team presented and said they showed the Senate hour after hour of real-time evidence “demonstrating every step of Donald Trump’s constitutional crime.”
“President Trump tried to bully state-level officials to commit fraud on the public by literally finding votes,” Raskin said.
“Incitement, as we discussed, requires an inherently fact based evidentiary inquiries. And this is what we did,” said Raskin, who said that Trump assembled and incited the mob on Jan. 6 and sent them off to the Capitol where they yelled they were invited by the president.
Donald Trump Impeached A Second Time In Historic House Vote
The House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump on January 13 for a second time, marking the first time in U.S. history that a President has been impeached more than once.
Ten Republicans voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection, granting the Democrats latest effort to remove him from office new bipartisan backing. In 2019, when Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of justice, not a single House Republican voted for impeachment.
He must go, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.
Wednesdays vote was a historic rebuke of Trump just one week after he provoked a violent group of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol building and disrupt the certification of President-elect Joe Bidens Electoral College votes. The siege left five people dead, including a member of the U.S. Capitol Police.
Now, at the end of an extraordinary term that tested the foundations of American democracy, Trump is not only the third president in history to be impeached, but will carry stigma of being the only Commander-in-Chief to be impeached twice.
The vote took place amid heavy security and after two hours of intense debate on the House floor, a week after some of the members present and their staff took shelter in the chamber during the attack. National Guard troops lined the halls and metal detectors had been set up for members wishing to enter the House floor.
Constitutionality Of Senate Trial Of Former President
The question of whether the Senate can hold a trial for and convict a former president is unsettled. Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution provides:
|The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.|
|Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution|
Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution, also states the following:
|Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.|
|Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, of the U.S. Constitution|
J. Michael Luttig, who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 25 years, said that such a trial would be unconstitutional. He interpreted the language of Section 4 to refer to an official in office.
Luttig said, “The very concept of constitutional impeachment presupposes the impeachment, conviction and removal of a president who is, at the time of his impeachment, an incumbent in the office from which he is removed. Indeed, that was the purpose of the impeachment power, to remove from office a president or other ‘civil official’ before he could further harm the nation from the office he then occupies.”
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Trump Lawyer: His Call To Georgia Officials To ‘find’ Votes Was Taken Out Of Context
Trump’s lawyers largely sidestepped Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked during the question-and-answer session: “Are the prosecutors right when they claim that Trump was telling a big lie, or in your judgment did Trump actually win the election?”
Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen shot back, “My judgment? Who asked that?”
“I did,” Sanders replied.
“My judgment is irrelevant,” van der Veen said.
“You represent the president of the United States!” Sanders yelled back before Sen. Patrick Leahy, the presiding officer, gaveled the chamber back to order.
Trump’s rhetoric about widespread fraud and a stolen election was false, dismissed by many courts stemming from dozens of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and allies across several key states.
House Kicks Off 2 Hours Of Impeachment Debate
The House is beginning two hours of debate on whether to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting a mob assault last week on the U.S. Capitol that left five dead and lawmakers huddling in seclusion for their safety.
The House approved a rule setting up the contours of the impeachment debate. The vote in the Democratic-led chamber was 221-203 on a strict party-line vote.
Most Republicans objected to bringing up the impeachment article for debate. They argued it would be better to establish a commission to study why rioters were able to take over the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers met to accept the state-certified election results Jan. 6. They also wanted to include language creating a commission to investigate the 2020 election.
The article charges Trump with inciting the riot that left five dead and the building in shambles after he spoke to many of them at a rally near the White House that morning, repeating his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and encouraging them to head to the Capitol.
A vote on impeachment could begin as early as 3 p.m. EST. If it passes as expected, the article would then head to the Senate for a trial or dismissal.
Maureen Groppe and Ledyard King
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House First Called For 25th Amendment
The House tried first to push Vice-President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to intervene, passing a resolution Tuesday night calling on them to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office.
Pence made it clear he would not do so, saying in a letter to Pelosi, that it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate president-elect Joe Biden.”
It’s far from clear if there will be the two-thirds vote in the evenly divided Senate needed to convict Trump, though at least two Republicans have called for him to “go away as soon as possible.”
The FBI warned ominously of potential armed protests by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration. Capitol Police urged lawmakers to be on alert. Charges of sedition are being considered for rioters.
Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the “folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage that they be held accountable.”
Fending off concerns that an impeachment trial would bog down his first days in office, the president-elect is encouraging senators to divide their time between his priorities of confirming his nominees and approving COVID-19 relief while also conducting the trial.
What Did Lawmakers Say During The Debate
For two hours on Wednesday, members of the Democratic-controlled House made statements for and against the vote in the same chamber where they hid under chairs and donned gas masks as rioters tried to force their way inside last week.
National Guard troops kept watch inside and outside the Capitol. Ten of Mr Trump’s Republican party joined Democrats to impeach him by 232-197.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said on the House floor: “The president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”
Democratic congressman Julian Castro called Mr Trump “the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office”.
Most Republicans did not seek to defend Mr Trump’s rhetoric, instead arguing that the impeachment had bypassed the customary hearings and calling on Democrats to drop it for the sake of national unity.
“Impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” said Kevin McCarthy, the House’s top Republican. “That doesn’t mean the president’s free from fault. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”
Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, accused Democrats of recklessly dividing the country to pursue a political vendetta. “This is about getting the president of the United States. It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession.”
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House Reconvenes To Debate Trump Impeachment
Hours after passing a nonbinding resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to take power away from President Donald Trump, the House reconvened Wednesday to debate whether to impeach Trump for the second time.
The impeachment article, which is expected to be backed by all Democrats and some Republicans, could be approved by late afternoon.
The House is moving with remarkable swiftness to hold Trump accountable for his part in the takeover of the Capitol last week by rioters trying to stop Congress from counting the presidential election results.
House members have one hour to debate the rules for considering the impeachment article. Theyre expected to vote on the parliamentary procedures around 10: a.m. EST
If those are approved, there will be two hours of debate on the article of impeachment, which charges Trump with inciting the riot Jan. 6 at the Capitol. The vote on the article itself could come about 3 p.m. EST, according to House leaders.
If Trump is impeached, the House will send the article to the Senate for trial. But the timing of a trial isnt certain because Democrats are wary of the trial distracting attention from confirming President-elect Joe Bidens Cabinet nominees and legislative priorities when his term starts Jan. 20.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told MSNBC Wednesday that the article will be transmitted as soon as possible.
“We think there’s an urgency here, Hoyer said on MSNBCs Morning Joe.
Graham Claims House Managers Still Trying To Investigate Says Pelosi Should Testify
Her testimony is incredibly relevant to the incitement charge.
During the Senate vote on witnesses, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., turned to Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and was visibly upset at him, even pointing at him once, according to reporters witnessing the exchange inside the chamber.
Johnson and Romney were arguing on the floor with Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, in the middle of them.
Both raised their voices and Johnson was heard telling Romney, “Blame you,” but it’s unclear what that was about.
Johnson was asked about the exchange afterward and he said he doesn’t discuss private conversations. When reporters said they heard the argument on the floor, Johnson said, “Thats grotesque you guys are recording us.
Romney was among five Republicans who voted with Democrats to open debate on calling witnesses in the trial.
After the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his staff, and Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., huddled with Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, two other Republicans who joined Democrats in the vote.
Romney soon joined the group as well as Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who recently announced that he plans not to seek re-election.
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What Happened In The Votes
After 10 hours of partisan debate on the merits of the two impeachment charges against President Trump, the House called for votes at about 20:30 on Wednesday .
The first charge is abuse of power, stemming from Mr Trumps alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into his Democratic political rival, Joe Biden.
It passed by 230 votes to 197, almost completely on party lines. Only two Democrats opposed New Jerseys Jeff Van Drew, who is set to leave the party, and Minnesotas Collin Peterson.
The second charge is obstruction of Congress, because the president allegedly refused to co-operate with the impeachment inquiry, withholding documentary evidence and barring his key aides from giving evidence.
It passed by 229-198. Democrat Jared Golden of Maine voted for the first charge but opposed this.
No Republicans supported impeachment, although ex-party member Justin Amash, from Michigan, did.
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted present on both charges effectively an abstention. Two members were absent for personal reasons.
Being impeached places Donald Trump alongside only two other presidents in the nations history Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
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Opinionthe Annoyingly Simple Legal Strategy Trump Is Using To Avoid Criminal Charges
The problem is that complexities can open the door to potential defenses in a criminal trial. Putting aside the enormous task of collecting, analyzing and summarizing all of the documents , the prosecution must also prove criminal intent, which can be challenging when the target heads a large organization. In fact, the typical defense offered by tax evaders “my accountants prepared my returns and I just signed them” hasn’t gone unnoticed by Trump, who has already pointed out that his tax returns were prepared by “among the biggest and most prestigious law and accounting firms in the U.S.” It could be a heavy lift to convict a former president of any kind of business fraud when he has surrounded himself with lawyers and accountants.
That is why the cooperation of those same lawyers and accountants can be essential to obtaining a criminal conviction. Michael Cohen, Trump’s convicted former attorney, is enthusiastically cooperating against his former boss, and there is immense pressure on Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, to do the same. But both men come with considerable baggage Cohen is a convicted felon, and Weisselberg is under investigation of allegations of tax misdeeds of his own that might impair their credibility at trial.
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Watch Live: Senate To Consider Witnesses In Trump Impeachment Trial
As recently as Jan. 13, when the House impeached Trump, McConnell told his GOP colleagues he “had not made a final decision” about how he would vote in the Senate trial.
The Kentucky Republican harshly criticized Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot, noting: “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
Still, he voted twice to say the Senate did not have the authority to try a former president.
Bruce Castor, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, is pictured on a break in the third day of the Trump’s impeachment trial at the Capitol.hide caption
Bruce Castor, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, is pictured on a break in the third day of the Trump’s impeachment trial at the Capitol.
Special coverage of the trial has ended.
The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump of the charge of inciting an insurrection on Saturday.
The Senate voted to allow witnesses earlier Saturday, only to reverse course just a few hours later, avoiding what could have turned into days or even weeks of further proceedings.