The US House of Representatives was ready on Wednesday to formally accuse Donald Trump of inciting an insurgency against the US government following the Jan.6 attack on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, an extraordinary and historic move that would make he is the only American president to have been impeached twice.
The unprecedented effort gained momentum overnight as senior Republican House leaders joined Democrats in calling for his impeachment for his role in igniting a horde of loyalists who led the murderous assault on the U.S. Capitol as members of Congress in both the House and Senate were in session to certify Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the November presidential election.
A ruthless Trump called his inflammatory language at a rally just before the mob marched on the US Congress and barged in last week “totally appropriate.”
He said the impeachment was nothing more than “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in political history”.
Mike Pence officially rejected calls to strip Trump of power on Tuesday in an unprecedented invocation of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that allows for the removal of a sitting president if found unfit for the job.
Pence’s signal came hours before the House passed a resolution asking him to do so.
In lengthy documents outlining the arguments for impeachment, House Democrats have argued that Trump’s lack of remorse is further evidence that he remains a threat during his tenure.
“The president’s remaining term is limited – but a president capable of fomenting a violent insurgency on Capitol Hill is still capable of greater dangers,” they wrote. “He must be removed from office as quickly as the constitution allows.”
Fear turned to fury in the days following the riot, as lawmakers learned more about the security failures that resulted in the death and destruction of the People’s House.
“The President of the United States called this crowd, gathered the crowd and lit the flame of this attack,” said Liz Cheney, the 3rd House Republican, in a scathing statement Tuesday night announcing his support for impeachment. “All that followed was his work. None of this would have happened without the president.
No House Republican voted in support when Trump was impeached in 2019 for his attempts to persuade the leader of Ukraine to investigate the family of then-electoral rival Joe Biden, now his next replacement in the House. White House.
Cheney was joined by several other House Republicans, including Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who asked if the president’s actions were “not worthy of impeachment, so what?” an attributable offense?
Their support marks a radical departure from proceedings last year, when Republicans opposed Trump’s impeachment and he was acquitted in his Senate trial in early 2020 with just one GOP senator. , Mitt Romney, joining Democrats to vote for his conviction.
The second swift and historic impeachment vote comes just a week after the Washington DC riot – the first occupation of the U.S. Capitol since British troops burned down the building during the War of 1812 – and a week before Trump left.
The official indictment, or article of indictment, was drafted even as lawmakers ducked under chairs and prayed for safety during the attack.
He accuses Trump of “inciting violence against the United States government” by encouraging his supporters to march on Capitol Hill and prevent lawmakers from formalizing Joe Biden’s election victory, in an attempt to reverse the result and to give Trump a second term. .
“If you don’t fight like hell, you won’t have a country,” he told the noisy crowd at Wednesday morning’s rally near the White House.
Rallying behind what they believed was a war cry from a US president who refused to accept his electoral defeat, thousands of loyalists stormed the Capitol in a violent rampage that has threatened the lives of lawmakers , congressional staff, reporters, and its own vice president, who was there to fulfill his constitutional duty to count and certify the electoral college’s votes.
“In all of this, President Trump has seriously endangered the security of the United States and its government institutions,” the article states. “It threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and endangered an equal branch of government. He thus betrayed his confidence as president, to the obvious prejudice of the people of the United States.
Once the House votes to impeach the president, a result that is virtually assured because Democrats hold a majority in the House, the Senate, currently dominated by Republicans, would then hold a trial. Two-thirds of the 100 members are required to convict a president, meaning 17 Republicans would have to join all Democrats in making Trump guilty of “serious crimes.”
Two Senate Republicans have already called on Trump to step down, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allegedly believed the president had committed impenetrable offenses.
A Senate trial is likely to go on, at least in part, until Trump steps down.
While Trump is not removed from office, the trial would not be entirely symbolic. A convicted president may be barred from holding public office again, a sanction that requires only a simple majority.