The US House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for “high crimes and misdemeanors” — specifically, for inciting an insurrection against the federal government at the U.S. Capitol.
White House issued a statement and video in which Mr. Trump called for calm. He did not refer to the House impeachment but to new pro-Trump demonstrations that are planned to take place in the coming weeks.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that impeaching President Trump is “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man.”
One week before leaving office, Trump has become the first U.S. president to be impeached twice.
A week ago Trump supporters stormed the Capitol causing the death of several people and mayhem in the complex.
On Wednesday’s vote ten Republicans broke party ranks to vote in favor of impeachment, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who chairs the House Republican Conference.
In a statement explaining her vote, Representative Cheney wrote: “The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with four GOP abstentions, after a few hours of debate evenly divided between the parties.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the insurrectionists followed Trump’s sustained attempts to spread untruths about the 2020 vote and to influence state election officials to overturn results.
Impeachment, Pelosi said, is “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man, who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear, and that hold us together.”
GOP Leader McCarthy: Trump ‘Bears Responsibility’ For Violence, Won’t Vote To ImpeachMany Republicans who voted against the measure criticized the impeachment process as rushed and counterproductive. But impeachment supporters said Trump’s attempt to derail Congress from certifying the election results spurred an act of domestic terrorism, making the president unfit for office.
In his remarks, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, sought to strike a balance — between blaming Trump for his role in fanning the protest’s devolution into a riot, and speaking out against impeachment.
“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
But McCarthy, who himself objected to certifying the Electoral College results, said that instead of impeaching Trump, Congress should form a fact-finding commission and consider a formal censure of the president.
As lawmakers debated impeachment, the White House issued a statement in which Trump called for calm. He did not refer to the House proceeding, but to new pro-Trump demonstrations that are planned to take place in the coming week.
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”
The Democratic-led House impeached Trump the first time in December 2019 for his role in the Ukraine affair. On Tuesday, the president called the move to impeach him again “ridiculous.”
If the Senate votes to convict Trump — an outcome that is far from certain — he likely would be barred from holding any federal office again. An impeachment trial will not begin before Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office said Wednesday that the chamber, which Republicans currently hold, will not convene again until the transfer of power is complete.
Source: News Agency (Rafaela Prifti)