Panama City, FL –
WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) – President Donald Trump is set to be impeached for the second time, with the U.S. House of Representatives preparing for the unprecedented vote on Wednesday to cheer on supporters who have stormed the Capitol.
While Trump’s first impeachment last year brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and other lawmakers are breaking with the party to join the Democrats on Wednesday.
Trump, who would become the only twice impeached US president, faces a single charge of “inciting insurgency.”
The four-page impeachment resolution builds on Trump’s own inflammatory rhetoric and the lies he has spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on April’s Day. January 6 attack on the Capitol, to support its arguments in favor of serious crimes and misdemeanors. as required by the Constitution.
“If inviting a mob to insurgency against your own government isn’t an unforgivable event, then what is it?” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a writer for the articles of impeachment.
Faced with his potential place in history, Trump warned lawmakers, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the violent riot that was dividing the country.
“To continue on this path, I think this causes enormous danger to our country and causes enormous anger,” Trump said on Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.
A Capitol police officer died of injuries sustained in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people have died in what authorities have called medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to fight for safety and go into hiding as rioters took control of the Capitol and delayed the final step to finalize Biden’s victory by hours.
The outgoing president said: “I don’t want violence.”
At least five Republican lawmakers, including third-ranked GOP leader Liz Cheney from Wyoming, were not convinced by the president’s logic. Republicans have announced they will vote to impeach Trump, dividing the Republican leadership and the party itself.
“The President of the United States called this crowd, gathered the crowd and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Unlike a year ago, Trump faces impeachment after losing his own re-election as well as the Republican Senate majority.
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is reportedly angry with Trump, and it is unclear how an impeachment trial would play out. In the House, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, one of Trump’s main allies, rushed to suggest lighter censorship instead, but that option fell apart.
So far, Republican representatives: John Katko of New York, a former federal prosecutor; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, an Air Force veteran; Fred Upton from Michigan; and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state announced that they will also join Cheney in voting for impeachment.
The House first tried to push Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to intervene, passing a resolution Tuesday evening calling on them to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office. The resolution urged Pence to “declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: that the president is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of office.”
Hours before the vote, however, Pence made it clear that he wouldn’t. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden”.
Debate over the resolution was intense after lawmakers returned Capitol Hill for the first time since siege.
Representative Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, argued that Trump has to go because, as she put it in Spanish, he is “loco” – crazy.
In opposition, Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio said the “culture of cancellation” was simply trying to overthrow the president. He said Democrats had tried to reverse the 2016 election since Trump took office and ended his term the same way.
While more Republicans could vote to impeach – and leaders allow them to vote however they want – it is far from clear that then there would be the two-thirds of the votes needed in the equally divided Senate to condemn and to impeach Trump. Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling on Trump to “get out as soon as possible.”
Unprecedented events, just over a week into Trump’s tenure, unfold as FBI worryingly warned of possible armed protests by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration on January 20 . Capitol Police urged lawmakers to be on alert.
With new security, lawmakers had to go through metal detectors to enter the House chamber, not far from where Capitol Police, guns, had barricaded the door against rioters. Some Republican lawmakers have complained about the screening.
Biden said it was important to make sure that “the people who have engaged in sedition and threatening life, degrading public property, have done great damage – that they are held accountable.”
Ignoring fears that an impeachment trial would bog down his early days in office, the president-elect encourages senators to split their time between making his priorities confirming his candidates and approving the COVID-19 remedy while also leading the trial.
The impeachment bill is inspired by Trump’s false claims about his electoral defeat to Biden. Judges across the country, including some appointed by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, said there was no no sign of widespread fraud.
Like the resolution to invoke the 25th Amendment, the impeachment bill also details Trump’s pressure on Georgia state officials to ‘find’ him more votes and his White House rally. to “fight like hell” by going to the Capitol.
While some have questioned the president’s impeachment so close to the end of his term, there is precedent. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, Secretary of War William Belknap was indicted by the House on the day he resigned, and the Senate called a trial months later. He was acquitted.
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