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The managers’ argument ended with the message that a vote to convict is simply holding Trump accountable for the events of Jan. 6, and that if convicted, the Senate would need to hold an additional vote to disqualify Trump from seeking reelection.
“My dear colleagues, is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?” lead House Impeachment Manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said in his closing arguments. “Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?”
Trump’s lawyers were often combative in their rebuttal.
They neither sought to call the election results fraudulent nor did they defend the actions of Jan. 6. They focused their argument on claiming the former president’s words did not incite violence, that political speech must be protected and that the Senate cannot convict a private citizen under the Constitution.
Yes Donald Trump Has Been Impeached But What Happens Now
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On Wednesday, Donald Trump made history, becoming the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. And with 10 Republican members of the House of Representativesincluding Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republicanvoting to impeach, it was the most bipartisan impeachment vote in history, with members of his own party breaking away in numbers not seen since the Andrew Johnson or Bill Clinton impeachments.
Now, in the coming days, we will see if Trump makes history again and becomes the first U.S. president to be convicted by the Senate.
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellup until now a staunch Trump supporterhad signaled that he might be open to a Senate vote as early as Monday . But late Wednesday, after the House officially voted 232 to 197 to impeach, the majority leader issued a statement that he would not reconvene the Senate until Tuesday, the day before Joe Biden is inaugurated as president, and made it clear that a trial could not begin until after Biden takes office and control of the Senate shifts to the Democrats.
But isnt that too late? Nope. Most constitutional scholars agree that Trump could be impeached and convicted after leaving the office of the presidency.
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.”
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Trump Declines Invitation To Testify
In a letter to Trump attorneys on February 4, lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin invited Trump to testify before or during the impeachment trial the House impeachment managers argued that his testimony was needed after he disputed the House’s allegations that he incited the insurrection at the Capitol. The letter stated that Trump’s refusal to testify would support “a strong adverse inference” against Trump. The House’s letter noted that there was no barrier to a former president giving testimony that Trump was not immune from legal process while serving as president).
Trump’s lawyers Castor and Schoen responded to Raskin the same day in a terse letter declining the invitation. In their response, they called the House’s request for Trump’s testimony “a public relations stunt” rejected the implication of adverse inference for refusing to have Trump testify said that the House “cannot prove” its allegations called the impeachment trial an “unconstitutional proceeding” and stated that it is too serious “to try and play these games”.
The House impeachment managers signaled that they would not subpoena Trump’s testimony, stating that there was ample other evidence that supported his guilt. Raskin stated that Trump’s “immediate refusal to testify speaks volumes and plainly establishes an adverse inference supporting his guilt.”
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Only one GOP senator, Romney, voted to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial.
Cassidy issued a statement after his vote, saying, “Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person. I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”
Despite the acquittal, lead House Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin, D-Md., praised Congress and the House managers who worked with him.
“We have a clear and convincing majority of members of Congress that the president actually incited violent insurrection against the union and against the Congress,” Raskin said, adding it was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in the history of the country.
From the start, many Republican senators stood by the president — with 44 voting Tuesday it was unconstitutional to convict a former president.
During the trial, House impeachment managers argued that the Jan. 6 riot was Trump’s final attempt to overturn the presidential election. They claimed he was no innocent bystander, but rather, an insider and the instigator. They claimed he had been laying the groundwork for months with false claims and no proof the election was stolen, riling up Americans who would turn to violence on Jan. 6.
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Donald Trump Impeached Again
Thursday 14 January 2021 07:05, UK
Donald Trump has become the only US president to be impeached twice.
He was first impeached by the Democratic-led House of Representatives in December 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine about political rival Joe Biden.
What is impeachment?
A misconception about impeachment is that it refers to the removal of a president from office.
In fact, it refers only to the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, bringing charges that a president engaged in a “high crime or misdemeanour”.
A majority of the House’s 435 members approved bringing charges, known as “articles of impeachment”.
Unredacted Version Of Mueller Report
The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed the unredacted Mueller report and Attorney General Barr has rebuffed this, leading to a contempt citation from the committee. A lawsuit is also contemplated.
On July 26, 2019, the Judiciary Committee asked federal judge Beryl Howell, who oversaw the Mueller grand juries, to unseal the secret testimony because the committee is “investigating whether to recommend articles of impeachment” to the full House. Howell ruled in favor of the request on October 25, 2019, finding the impeachment investigation legitimate.
On November 18, 2019, The House counsel filed a brief with Judge Howell to release the materials immediately, as redacted grand jury testimony appeared to show the President perjured himself before the Mueller probe and it was part of the impeachment inquiry.
On December 16, another brief by the HJC, said that they still needed the materials, as some redacted materials appear to be related to the Ukraine matter.Previously, an appellate court had scheduled oral arguments in the case for January 3, 2020.
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Full National Impact Of 2nd Trump Impeachment Could Take Decades To Unpack
Donald Trumps status as the only U.S. president to be impeached twice may be his most lasting legacy one that is far different than how he might have been remembered prior to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol January 6 by his supporters.
Presidential historian Barbara Perry says that despite Trumps reputation for norm-breaking, racism and online bullying, the former president fulfilled many of the main promises he made on the campaign trail in 2016.
Maybe more than most presidents, he made good on his promises, says Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
He lowered taxes on the wealthy. He limited and reduced federal regulations. He put conservatives to the tune of over 200 federal judges on the lower federal courts and three conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court. He engaged in strong-arm tactics against China. He built part of his wall on the southern border and attempted to reduce, and succeeded in reducing, illegal immigration.
Forecasting how historians will perceive and treat the 45th president decades from now is a risky endeavor. Perspectives change over time. Yet Perry and other students of politics agree that Trumps trial for inciting insurrection, which begins this week, will likely obscure or taint the most notable accomplishments achieved during his presidency.
Road to healing
Trial Delay And Planning
In the days following Trump’s second impeachment, Senate Majority LeaderMitch McConnell argued that, because the Senate was in pro forma sessions until January 19, it could not take on any business without the unanimous consent of its members. According to Senate rules, once articles of impeachment are presented to the Senate, the Senate trial must begin the next day. Had the article of impeachment been immediately transmitted to the Senate, Trump’s trial thus would have begun on Inauguration Day, after Joe Biden was sworn in.
Senate Minority LeaderChuck Schumer called on McConnell to bring the Senate back into session immediately after the House transmitted the article of impeachment, and also to advance the confirmation process for Biden’s cabinet nominees so that the incoming administration’s team would be in place on day one. Some, including House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn , initially suggested that the House might transmit the article of impeachment to the Senate at a later date , giving the Senate time to consider Biden’s legislative program and confirm his nominees. However, House Democrats opposed a delay, stating that Trump remained a danger while he was in office, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on January 14 that the article of impeachment would be transmitted to the Senate without delay.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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Mcconnell: Trump Is Practically And Morally Responsible For Provoking Capitol Riot
From CNN’s Adrienne Vogt
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the Jan. 6 Capitol attack a disgrace.
“They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth. Because he was angry. He had lost an election. Former President Trump’s actions preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty,” McConnell said.
“There’s no question none that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President,” he added.
McConnell said there were “wild myths” about election fraud, but he said he defended Trump’s right to bring any complaints to the legal system.
“As I stood up and said clearly at that time, the election was settled. It was over. But that just really opened a new chapter of even wilder, wilder and more unfounded claims,” he said. “The leader of the free world cannot spend weeks thundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise when people believe him and do reckless things.”
Trump “did not do his job” to end the Jan. 6 violence, McConnell said.
McConnell called the Trump defense team invoking Trump’s voters during the impeachment trial “as a human shield against criticism.”