U.S. House Impeaches Trump for Second Time

WASHINGTON–President Donald J. Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for a historic second time Wednesday.

He was charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the U.S. Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.

The vote was bi-partisan in that 10 Republicans–including U.S. Rep.  Liz Chaney (Rep., Wyo.), the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney–voted for impeachment.

Congresswoman Cheney is the third-ranked minority leader in the House.

All five members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation voted against impeachment.

With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump.

The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, egged on by the president’s calls for them to “fight like hell” against the election results.

During the two-hour debate yesterday, Democrats said President Trump needed to be held accountable and warned ominously of a “clear and present danger” if Congress should leave him unchecked before President-Elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

It was the most -bipartisan presidential impeachment in modern times, more so than Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.

The Capitol insurrection stunned and angered lawmakers, who were sent scrambling for safety as the mob descended, and it revealed the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power.

The riot also forced a reckoning among some Republicans, who have stood by Trump throughout his presidency and largely allowed him to spread false attacks against the integrity of the 2020 election.

During debate on the article of impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Republicans and Democrats to “search their souls” ahead of the historic afternoon vote.

Trump “must go,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Dem., Calif.) said.  “He is a clear and present danger to the nation we all love.”

Actual removal seems unlikely before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-Elect Biden.

Minutes after the House vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Rep., Ky.) suggested in a statement that President Trump’s Senate trial will not start before Jan. 19, the chamber’s next scheduled business day.

He has said the conviction by the Senate would make it easier to kick Mr. Trump out of the Republican Party.

Such as his disgust with the president, Sen. McConnell has vowed to never speak with Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell’s wife—Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao —resigned from the Cabinet after the U.S. Capitol was invaded by Trump supporters.

It’s also about the time Democrats take over majority control of the Senate. The timetable essentially means McConnell is dropping the trial into the laps of Democrats.

“There is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial” could end before Biden takes office,” Sen.  McConnell wrote.

He said it will “best serve our nation” if the government spends the coming week “completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power” to Mr. Biden.

The Senate majority leader said he has not yet decided how he will vote in the senate impeachment trial.

Still, Mr. McConnell did not rule out voting to convict President Trump in the event of a trial.

In a note to his fellow Republican senators just before the House was to begin voting, he said he is undecided.

“While the press has been full of speculation, 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,” Sen. McConnell wrote. 

Yesterday, in a new statement released after the House vote,  President Trump disavowed the violence of Jan. 6., but did not mention the impeachment. 

“I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement.”

He said that his Make America Great Again movement has always been about upholding the rules of law. 

President Trump’s tone was very different from the video statement he released while his supporters were still assaulting the U.S. Capitol last week, when he called them patriots and told them he loved them and that they were special. 

Appearing to be reading a statement from a Teleprompter Wednesday, Trump asked his supporters to think of “ways to ease tensions, calm tempers and help to promote peace in our country.” 

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, at least eight House Republicans announced in advance that they would break with the party to join Democrats this time, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.

As two Republican lawmakers — Washington Reps. Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler — announced on the floor they would vote to impeach, Trump issued a new statement urging “NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind” to disrupt Biden’s ascension to the White House.

In the face of the accusations against him and with the Federal Bureau of Investigation warning of more violence, President 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.”

But he has repeatedly declinresponsibility for last week’s riots. 

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