Trump impeached for historic second time over deadly riots at Capitol

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President Donald Trump has been impeached for a historic second time after the House of Representatives secured enough votes to charge him.

A total of 10 Republicans voted against their party and Mr Trump, with the final result being 232 votes to impeach, and 197 against.

He is the first US president to be impeached twice, after he was previously charged over his calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr Trump has been charged with inciting an insurrection following the deadly riots at the US Capitol on 6 January.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks to speak to the media before boarding Air Force One to depart Washington on travel to visit the U.S.-Mexico border Wall in Texas, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., January 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Image: Donald Trump is the first president to be impeached twice

Mr Trump did little to condemn the riots as they took place, nor in the immediate aftermath, but in recent days has attempted to ease tensions.

In a recorded statement from the White House after the impeachment vote, Mr Trump said “there is never a justification for violence”.

“If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement,” he said, as he pledged that those involved in the riots would be “brought to justice”.

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He did not mention his impeachment during the five-minute clip, saying the country’s focus “must be on advancing the interests of the whole nation”.

The scenes at the Capitol left him “shocked and saddened”, he said, describing the violence as a “calamity”.

The 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment were: Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Fred Upton of Michigan, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger Illinois, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington, Dan Newhouse of Washington and David Valadao of California.

But a Senate trial will not be imminent, with majority leader Mitch McConnell saying that is not enough time for a “fair or serious trial” to take place before Joe Biden is sworn in.

He said: “The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the President. The Senate process will
now begin at our first regular meeting [19 January] following receipt of the article from the House.”

Mr McConnell added: “The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.

“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden administration.”

Mr Trump gave a speech ahead of the unrest last week to his supporters, who went on to storm the seat of Congress.

The Senate will now hold a trial to establish whether Mr Trump is guilty and if he should be removed from office – this will require a two-thirds majority.

They can also vote to ban Mr Trump from standing for election ever again – which only requires a simple majority (50% + 1).

The leader of Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, has said that he will pursue a vote to ban Donald Trump from running for office should the senate convict the president.

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Trump ‘a clear and present danger’ – Pelosi

Since the riots, the president has been banned from most social media – including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – and there has been little communication from the White House.

But he did release a Twitter-esque statement via the White House press secretary ahead of the impeachment debate, saying: “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.

“That is now 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.”

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Trump said: “If you read my speech [from before the riots], and many people have done it and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it’s been analysed and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.”

“Everybody to a tee thought it was totally appropriate.”

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