Trump Impeached For Unprecedented Second Time

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Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached twice when the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to charge him with inciting last week’s mob attack on Congress.

The Senate will not hold a trial before January 20, when Democrat Joe Biden assumes the presidency, meaning the real estate tycoon will escape the risk of being forced to leave early. He will, however, depart in disgrace — and likely due to face a Senate trial later.





US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is unlikely to agree to stand alone aid bills that President Trump has called for, since that would surrender leverage to win support for state and local governments
 AFP / Nicholas Kamm

The only question in the House had been how many Republicans would join the Democratic majority.

In the end, 10 Republicans broke ranks, including the party’s number three in the House, Representative Liz Cheney.



US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will preside over the second vote in just 13 months to impeach President Donald Trump


US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will preside over the second vote in just 13 months to impeach President Donald Trump
 AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

Holed up in the White House, Trump had no immediate reaction but he earlier issued a brief statement insisting that he opposed violence among his supporters.

“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 not what I stand for,” he said.



US Vice President Mike Pence said he was opposed to invoking the 25th Amendment, a process that could have led to the ouster of President Donald Trump before his term ends on January 20, 2021


US Vice President Mike Pence said he was opposed to invoking the 25th Amendment, a process that could have led to the ouster of President Donald Trump before his term ends on January 20, 2021
 AFP / MANDEL NGAN

“I call on all Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”

Reflecting the fear of upheaval, armed National Guards deployed across the capital and central streets were blocked to traffic.

In the Capitol building itself, guards in full camouflage and carrying assault rifles assembled, some of them grabbing naps early Wednesday under the ornate statues and historical paintings.



Members of the National Guard take a rest in the Rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 13, 2021, ahead of the House vote impeaching US President Donald Trump


Members of the National Guard take a rest in the Rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 13, 2021, ahead of the House vote impeaching US President Donald Trump
 AFP / SAUL LOEB

Trump survived a first impeachment almost exactly a year ago when the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him of abusing his office to try and get dirt on Biden’s family before the election.

This time, his downfall was triggered by a speech he delivered to a crowd on the National Mall on January 6, telling them that Biden had stolen the presidential election and that they needed to march on Congress and show “strength.”



US President Donald Trump walks by supporters outside the White House on January 12, 2021 in Washington, DC before his departure to Alamo, Texas


US President Donald Trump walks by supporters outside the White House on January 12, 2021 in Washington, DC before his departure to Alamo, Texas
 AFP / Brendan Smialowski

Amped up on weeks of election conspiracy theories pushed by Trump, the mob then stormed into the Capitol, fatally wounded one police officer, wrecked furniture and forced terrified lawmakers to hide, interrupting a ceremony to put the legal stamp on Biden’s victory.

One protester was shot dead, and three other people died of “medical emergencies,” bringing the toll to five.



A supporter of US President Donald Trump stands outside US Capitol


A supporter of US President Donald Trump stands outside US Capitol
 AFP / Olivier DOULIERY

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the chamber that Trump “must go.”

“He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said.

And Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar branded Trump a “tyrant,” saying that “for us to able to survive as a functioning democracy there has to be accountability.”



IMAGES The US House of Representatives is gaveled into session to vote to impeach President Trump a second time over his supporters' attack of the Capitol that left five dead. Lawmakers in the lower chamber are expected to vote for impeachment around 3:00


IMAGES The US House of Representatives is gaveled into session to vote to impeach President Trump a second time over his supporters’ attack of the Capitol that left five dead. Lawmakers in the lower chamber are expected to vote for impeachment around 3:00 pm (2000 GMT), marking the formal opening of proceedings against Trump.
 HOUSE POOL

But Nancy Mace, a newly-elected Republican congresswoman said that while lawmakers “need to hold the president accountable,” the speed of the impeachment “poses great questions about the constitutionality.”

The top Republican in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, said that while Trump deserves censure, hurriedly impeaching will “further divide this nation.”

Trump, who has been stripped of his social media megaphones by Twitter and Facebook, and finds himself increasingly ostracized in the business world, is struggling to impose his message — let alone any kind of resistance.

His refusal to accept any responsibility for the horrifying scenes on January 6 — including his insistence Tuesday that his speech was “totally appropriate” — has infuriated allies and opponents alike.

The main question now is to what extent former Republican allies in the Senate will turn on their party’s figurehead. Last year, they acquitted Trump overwhelmingly after the House impeached him for abuse of office.

Powerful Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has made clear there is no time before Trump’s January 20 exit to hold an impeachment trial, given that the Senate is in recess until January 19.

However, he said Wednesday that he was open to the possibility of voting to convict Trump in a trial, which could still be held after Biden takes over.

“I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell said.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell is signaling privately that he believes Trump did commit impeachable offenses.

This presents a potentially fatal shift in the ground under Trump’s feet, because it could lead other Republican senators to join in convicting Trump with the goal of turning the page in the turbulent relationship between the party and former reality TV host and real estate magnate.

He is also being cut out by the business world, threatening his financial future once he leaves the White House.

The latest blow to the Trump empire was when the mayor of his native New York City, Bill de Blasio, announced Wednesday a termination of contracts to run a golf course, two ice-skating rinks and a carousel in Central Park.

“New York City doesn’t do business with insurrectionists,” de Blasio, a Democrat, tweeted.

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