National Post (Latest Edition)
Trump impeached for second time
Washington • Donald Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice, charged with inciting an insurrection just a week after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol.
The vote in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives was 232-197 Wednesday, with 10 Republicans joining the Democrats in backing impeachment of the president in his waning days in power.
But it appeared unlikely that the extraordinarily swift impeachment would lead to Trump’s ouster before the Republican president’s term ends and Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
The Senate’s republican majority leader, Mitch Mcconnell, rejected democratic calls for an immediate impeachment trial, saying there was no time to conclude a trial before Trump leaves office.
An hour after the vote, Trump released a video recorded in the Oval Office calling for calm and saying he was shocked and saddened by the “calamity at the Capitol.” he made no mention of 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.”
In what appeared to be a reference to his banishment from social media, he said there has been an unprecedented assault on free speech in recent days and he called it wrong and dangerous.
“We need to listen to one another, not silence one another.”
The house passed a single article of impeachment accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection,” focused on an incendiary speech he delivered to thousands of supporters shortly before the pro-trump mob rampaged through the Capitol on Jan. 6. The mob disrupted the formal certification of Biden’s victory over Trump in the Nov. 3 election, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead, including a police officer.
During his Jan. 6 speech, Trump repeated claims that the election was fraudulent and exhorted supporters to march on the Capitol.
With thousands of rifle-carrying National Guard troops inside and outside the Capitol on Wednesday, an emotional debate unfolded in the house chamber where lawmakers had crouched under chairs and donned gas masks a week earlier.
“The president of the united States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country,” house Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a democrat, said on the house floor before the vote.
“he must go. he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”
No u.s. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. Three — Trump in 2019, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868 — previously were impeached by the house but acquitted by the Senate.
democratic congressman Julian Castro called Trump “the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office.” Congresswoman Maxine Waters accused Trump of wanting civil war and fellow democrat Jim Mcgovern said the president “instigated an attempted coup.”
Mcconnell said in a memo to his fellow republicans that he had not made a final decision on how he will vote on impeachment in the Senate.