Listen To The Daily: The Impeachment Of President Donald J Trump
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Thats it for The Daily. Im Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.
Despite years of speculation, Mr. Trumps impeachment did not, in the end, grow out of the two-year investigation into Russian election meddling by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, or the seemingly endless series of other accusations of corruption and misconduct that have plagued this White House: tax evasion, profiting from the presidency, payoffs to a pornographic film actress and fraudulent activities by his charitable foundation.
Instead, the existential threat to Mr. Trumps presidency centered around a half-hour phone call in July. On it, he pressured Ukraines president to announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats at the same time he was withholding nearly $400 million in vital military assistance for the country and a White House meeting.
Congress learned about the call after an anonymous C.I.A. official lodged a whistle-blower complaint in August pulling a string that helped unravel an effort by the president and his allies to pressure a foreign government for help in smearing a political rival. Over a period of weeks this fall, a parade of diplomats and other administration officials confirmed and expanded on those revelations.
And Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a Democratic presidential contender who has built her reputation as a maverick in her party, voted present on both articles.
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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.
Trump Celebrates His Acquittal Says The Impeachment Was Part Of A ‘witch Hunt’
The safety of Pence, and the assertion that Trump willfully did not act swiftly and decisively enough to protect his own vice president, was a point that was repeated throughout the closing arguments.
“When the vice president of the United States escaped a violent mob that entered this Capitol building, seeking to hang him and calling out ‘traitor, traitor, traitor,’ when they shut down the counting of the electoral college votes, is this the future you imagine for our kids?” Raskin asked.
Raskin used the closing argument to push back against the defense’s claim that Trump’s actions after the insurrection began aren’t relevant.
Impeachment manager Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., played a video montage of Trump repeating the false claim that the election had been rigged.
“This was not one speech. This was a deliberate, purposeful effort by Donald Trump over many months that resulted in the well-organized mob attack on Jan. 6,” she said.
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House Republicans Explain Why They Voted To Impeach Donald Trump
Im at peace.
10 Republicans in the House of Representatives joined Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time on Wednesday, an unprecedented rebuke of an American leader who has flouted norms and sown discontent for years with little reprimand from his own party.
The House voted 232-197 in favor of one article of impeachment, charging the president with incitement of insurrection following the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol last week by a mob of pro-Trump rioters.
Five people died in the attack, including one Capitol Police officer, and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers have condemned the president for his role in fanning the flames.
The number of House Republicans to vote against their partys president was record-breaking. The president will now face a trial in the Senate, although the process is likely to drag into the early days of the Biden administration when Democrats control the chamber.
In the House, however, the rebuke was swift. Heres what Republican members of Congress had to say about their vote to impeach Trump, in their own words:
Stacey Plaskett: Trump Trial Needed ‘more Senators With Spines Not More Witnesses’
Virgin Islands House Del. Stacey Plaskett, another impeachment manager, told NPR’s Weekend Edition that they didn’t “reverse course” on witnesses but instead succeeded in adding Herrera Beutler’s statement describing a conversation between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump as the attack was ongoing.
“I know that people have a lot of angst and they can’t believe that the Senate did what they did . But what we needed were senators, more senators with spines, not more witnesses,” Plaskett said.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a close ally of President Biden, reportedly urged House managers to relent on witnesses. He told ABC’s This Week on Sunday that spending “months fighting over witnesses” wouldn’t have been worth it.
“What the House managers needed wasn’t more witnesses or more evidence, what we all needed was more Republican courage,” he said. “This was the most bipartisan verdict in American history, a strong rebuke to President Trump, but frankly at the end of the day, the trial had reached its natural conclusion.”
Seven Republican senators voted to convict Trump, after 10 GOP House members voted to impeach Trump for inciting the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol.
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Trump Makes History Once Again
Donald Trump has made history once again, this time as the first president to be impeached twice.
A year ago, the move was opposed in lockstep by the Republican Party. This time, a handful of conservatives backed the move. It is a reflection not only of the gravity of the moment, but also the president’s declining influence in the final days of his administration.
Impeachment sets up a Senate trial for Mr Trump that now appears destined to stretch into the early days of Joe Biden’s presidency, creating yet another challenge for the incoming president. It also will stoke an ongoing debate among Republicans over the direction their party takes in the days ahead.
The party is on a path that splits in two very different directions. On one side is continued allegiance to the president’s brand of politics – one that created a new coalition of voters that delivered the White House and Congress in 2016, but lost both in 2020.
On the other is an uncertain future – but one free from the president’s unique style of heat and rhetoric – unfiltered invective that even many Republicans now believe contributed to last week’s Capitol riot
Why Are The Democrats Trying To Impeach Trump Now
The possibility of impeachment has long been something hanging over Donald Trumps presidency. While some lawmakers called for impeachment years ago, others were slow to join with those lone politicians. The tipping point appeared to be a vortex of an upcoming election, a case of possible quid pro quo, and allegations of a President that failed to grapple with his own abilities.
To understand how all of this made its way to impeachment hearings, the logical starting point is the 2016 election. At the time, Republican lawmakers were already planning for their own impeachment proceedings against the likely winner, Hillary Clinton. All of those plans ground to a halt with the election of Donald Trump. The headlines that year said it all. Could Trump Be Impeached Shortly After He Takes Office, asked Politico, Vanity Fair postulated, Will Trump Be Impeached, the list goes on and on.
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The Capitol Siege: The Arrested And Their Stories
“The Speaker has and will continue to take action to ensure accountability and enhance the security of the Capitol,” he said in a statement. “Following the insurrection, the House Sergeant at Arms, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and the Chief of the Capitol Police were removed from their positions. It is the job of the Capitol Police Board, on which these three individuals sat, to properly plan and prepare for security threats facing the U.S. Capitol.”
Sen. Chris Coons, a close ally of President Biden, told ABC’s This Week he supports a Sept. 11-style commission to probe further into the events leading up to the attack.
“There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear,” the Delaware Democrat said. “The 9/11 Commission is a way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward, and that we lay bare the record of just how responsible and how abjectly and violating of his constitutional oath President Trump really was.”
Following the attack on the Capitol, heightened security measures were deployed around the complex, including the requirement of members to walk through metal detectors and various forms of fencing secured around the Capitol’s perimeter.
The Senate voted 57-43 Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.
A majority of senators voted Saturday to convict former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
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When Was Donald Trump’s First Impeachment Trial
Donald Trump could be facing a second impeachment, which would be the first time in history a US president has faced impeachment twice.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2019.
Trump was the third US president to have been impeached by Congress – joining Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton in the list – however no president has ever been removed from office through impeachment.
The House intends to consider the article of impeachment when it reconvenes on January 13, 2021 at 9am.
However, a House resolution for Pence to give Trump the boot was blocked on Monday, January 11, by Republicans.
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Here’s The Real Reason Why Democrats Impeached Trump
President Trump made history by becoming the third U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
The House voted to impeach Trump on two charges: 1) abuse of power and 2) obstruction of Congress. Not a single Republican supported either impeachment article, making the impeachment a completely partisan affair. A handful of Democrats did break with their party. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate, voted present on both articles, while Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson and New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew voted against both articles. A fourth congressman, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, split his vote between the two articles.
This was arguably the most predictable thing to happen in an otherwise unpredictable presidency. Democrats have been calling for impeachment ever since Trump took office and since they gained control of the House.
Now that Democrats got their wish in impeaching Trump, surely the walls are closing in on him, right? Enter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
On the Senate floor on Thursday, McConnell criticized House Democrats for their impeachment efforts, saying, This particular House of Representatives has let its partisan rage at this particular president create a toxic new precedent that will echo well into the future.
McConnell has been clear on the subject of impeachment: Its a shoddy argument that doesnt meet the threshold for impeachment or removal of a president.
So, what happens now?
Donald Trump Acquitted In Second Impeachment Trial
- Senate fails to achieve two-thirds majority needed to convict
- Trump thanks supporters and complaints about witch-hunt
Donald Trump has been acquitted by the Senate in his second impeachment trial for his role in the 6 January attack on the US Capitol a verdict that underscores the sway Americas 45th president still holds over the Republican party even after leaving office.
After just five days of debate in the chamber that was the scene of last months invasion, a divided Senate fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to convict high crimes and misdemeanors. A conviction would have allowed the Senate to vote to disqualify him from holding future office.
Seven Republicans joined every Democrat to declare Trump guilty on the charge of incitement of insurrection after his months-long quest to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden and its deadly conclusion on 6 January, when Congress met to formalize the election results.
The 57-43 vote was most bipartisan support for conviction ever in a presidential impeachment trial. The outcome, which was never in doubt, reflected both the still raw anger of senators over Trumps conduct as his supporters stormed the Capitol last month and the vice-like grip the defeated president still holds over his party.
Trumps acquittal came after grave warnings from the nine Democratic House impeachment managers, serving as prosecutors, that Trump continued to pose a threat to the nation and democracy itself.
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Impeachment Was More Of A Bipartisan Effort In The House This Time
In a stark reversal from 2019, when zero GOP lawmakers voted to impeach, some House Republicans joined Democrats to impeach Trump on Wednesday.
These Republican votes to impeach reflect a deep division among Republican lawmakers following January 6s deadly insurrection by Trump supporters, the GOP caucus has debated whether to support Trump or rebuke him.
After backing him for the last four years, some Republicans fell on the side of rebuking the president, believing his role in stoking the violent mob was too grave to ignore. Others were said to privately support impeachment, while being too afraid to do so publicly.
Several Republicans feared for their safety if they supported impeachment, Rep. David Cicilline , one of the co-authors of the impeachment article, told reporters on Wednesday, hours before the vote.
Their own personal safety from harm, and their family, Cicilline told reporters. Thats real.
Most notably, the group of Republicans who publicly supported impeachment included House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney from Wyoming . Cheney released a statement Tuesday night unequivocally condemning Trump and saying shed vote to impeach him.
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 in her statement. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.