Jan 14, 2021 1:57 AM

🎥 History: President Trump impeached a second time

Posted Jan 14, 2021 1:57 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has been impeached by the U.S. House over the violent siege of the Capitol. The vote was 232-197. Five did not vote.  10 republicans voted to impeach.

CLICK Here to watch a replay of the debate and vote

He is the only president to be twice impeached. He faced a single charge “incitement of insurrection” in Wednesday's vote after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to, as he put it, “fight like hell” against election results. The subsequent attack on the U.S. Capitol turned deadly and delayed finalizing Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.

Security was exceptionally tight at the Capitol for Wednesday's vote, beefed up by armed National Guard troops, with secure perimeters set up and metal-detector screenings required for lawmakers entering the House chamber. A handful of Republicans supported impeachment along with the Democrats.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump was on the verge of being impeached for a second time Wednesday as the House sped to a vote just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and then a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

CLICK Here to watch the impeachment vote

During debate on the articles of impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Republicans and Democrats to “search their souls” ahead of the historic afternoon vote. Trump would be the first American president to be impeached twice.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  said, "Trump must go." image courtesy CSPAN
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  said, "Trump must go." image courtesy CSPAN

Trump “must go,” Pelosi 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 Joe Biden. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican leader would not agree to bring the chamber back immediately, all be ensuring a Senate trial could not begin at least until Jan. 19.

But momentum for action in the House was unstoppable.

The impeachment proceedings came one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and revealing the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power. The riot has 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.

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, at least six House Republicans were breaking with the party to join Democrats this time, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy. Among them was Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

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.” But he has repeatedly declined to take any responsibility for last week’s riots.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said for the first time that Trump does bear responsibility, acknowledging on the House floor before the vote that Biden is the next president and that radical liberal groups were not responsible for the riots, as some conservatives have falsely claimed.

But McCarthy said he opposed impeachment, instead favoring a “fact finding commission” and censure.

As for threats of more trouble from intruders, security was exceptionally tight at the Capitol with shocking images of massed National Guard troops, secure perimeters around the complex and metal-detector screenings required for lawmakers entering the House chamber.

“We are debating this historic measure at a crime scene,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

Though McConnell is declining to hasten an impeachment trial, a Republican strategist told The Associated Press the GOP leader believes Trump committed impeachable offenses and considers the Democrats’ impeachment drive an opportunity to reduce the divisive, chaotic president’s hold on the GOP.

McConnell called major Republican donors last weekend to gauge their thinking about Trump and was told that Trump had clearly crossed a line. McConnell told them he was through with Trump, said the strategist, who demanded anonymity to describe McConnell’s conversations.

The New York Times first reported McConnell’s views on impeachment on Tuesday.

The stunning collapse of Trump’s final days in office, along with warnings of more violence ahead, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Biden takes office.

Trump faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in making its case for “high crimes and misdemeanors” as demanded in the Constitution.

Trump took no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Lawmakers scrambled for safety and hid as rioters took control of the Capitol, delaying by hours the tally of Electoral College votes that was the last step in finalizing Biden’s victory.

The six Republican lawmakers, including Cheney, were unswayed by the president’s logic. Their support of impeachment cleaved the Republican leadership, and the party itself.

“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney 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 as a weakened leader, having lost his own reelection as well as the Senate Republican majority.

The president was said to be livid with perceived disloyalty from McConnell and Cheney, as calls mounted for her ouster. He was also deeply frustrated that he could not hit back with his shuttered Twitter account, the fear of which has kept most Republicans in line for years, according to White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

The team around Trump has hollowed out, without any plan for combating the impeachment effort. Trump leaned on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to push Republican senators, while chief of staff Mark Meadows called some of his former colleagues on the Hill.

Trump was expected to watch much of Wednesday’s proceedings on TV from the White House residence and his private dining area off the Oval Office.

The House tried first to push Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to intervene, passing a resolution Tuesday night calling on them to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office.

Pence made it clear he would not do so, saying in a letter to Pelosi, that it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”

It’s far from clear there will be the two-thirds vote in the evenly divided Senate needed to convict Trump, though at least two Republicans have called for him to “go away as soon as possible.”

The FBI warned ominously of potential armed protests by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration. Capitol Police urged lawmakers to be on alert. Charges of sedition are being considered for rioters.

Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the “folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”

Fending off concerns that an impeachment trial would bog down his first days in office, the president-elect is encouraging senators to divide their time between taking taking up his priorities of confirming his nominees and approving COVID-19 relief while also conducting the trial.

The impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Biden. Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging the election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, has said there was no sign of widespread fraud.

While some have questioned impeaching the president so close to the end of his term, there is precedent. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, War Secretary William Belknap was impeached by the House the day he resigned, and the Senate convened a trial months later. He was acquitted.

Trump was impeached in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine but acquitted by the Senate in 2020.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in a fast-moving House vote, just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and then a mob of supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

CLICK Here to watch the impeachment vote

“We are debating this historic measure at a crime scene,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

Security was exceptionally tight Wednesday, shocking images of National Guard troops massed at the iconic Capitol, with secure perimeters around the complex and metal-detector screenings required for lawmakers entering the House chamber.

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.

The stunning collapse of Trump’s final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.

The Democratic-controlled House will move to impeach Trump Wednesday for the second time in 13 months — this time with just days left in the defeated president’s term. photo courtesy CSPAN
The Democratic-controlled House will move to impeach Trump Wednesday for the second time in 13 months — this time with just days left in the defeated president’s term. photo courtesy CSPAN

Trump, who would become the only U.S. president twice impeached, faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanors as demanded in the Constitution.

Trump took no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to scramble for safety and hide as rioters took control of the Capitol, delaying by hours the tally of Electoral College votes that was the last step in finalizing Biden’s victory.

The outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”

At least five Republican lawmakers, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, were unswayed by the president’s logic. The Republicans announced they would vote to impeach Trump, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.

“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney 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.”

Cheney’s father was the vice president under President George W. Bush and a Republican leader in the House. “She knows of what she speaks,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic majority leader.

Unlike a year ago, Trump faces impeachment as a weakened leader, having lost his own reelection as well as the Senate Republican majority.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is said to be angry at Trump, and it’s unclear how a Senate impeachment trial would play out. The New York Times reported that McConnell thinks Trump committed an impeachable offense and is glad Democrats are moving against him. Citing unidentified people familiar with McConnell’s thinking, the Times reported McConnell believes moving against Trump will help the GOP forge a future independent of the divisive, chaotic president.

The president was said to be livid with perceived disloyalty from McConnell and Cheney, as calls mounted for her ouster. He was also deeply frustrated that he could not hit back with his shuttered Twitter account, the fear of which has kept most Republicans in line for years, according to White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

The team around Trump has hollowed out, without any plan for combating the impeachment effort. Trump leaned on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to push Republican senators, while chief of staff Mark Meadows called some of his former colleagues on the Hill.

Yet Trump and his allies believed that the president’s sturdy popularity with the GOP lawmakers’ constituents would prevent most from voting against him. After the riot at the Capitol, most House Republicans did go on that night to vote to overturn the election results.

Trump was expected to watch much of Wednesday’s proceedings on TV from the White House residence and his private dining area off the Oval Office.

In the House, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, a top Trump ally, scrambled to suggest a lighter censure instead, but that option crumbled.

The House tried first to push Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to intervene, passing a resolution Tuesday night calling on them to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office.

Pence made it clear he would not do so, saying in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”

House Democrat leader Rep. Steny Hoyer during Wednesday debate-image courtesy CSPAN
House Democrat leader Rep. Steny Hoyer during Wednesday debate-image courtesy CSPAN

Debate over the resolution was intense after lawmakers returned the Capitol for the first time since the siege.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio revived Trump’s false claims about the election results at the heart of the impeachment charge, drawing sharp rebukes from McGovern and others that “big lies” were fueling the nation’s divide.

Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., called the swift proceeding a “reckless” impeachment. He said, “This will only bring up the hate and fire more than ever before.”

It’s far from clear there will be the two-thirds vote in the evenly divided Senate needed to convict and remove Trump. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”

With just over a week remaining in Trump’s term, the FBI warned ominously of potential armed protests by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration. Capitol Police urged lawmakers to be on alert. Charges of sedition are being considered for rioters.

New security in place, lawmakers were required to pass through metal detectors to enter the House chamber, not far from where Capitol police, guns drawn, had barricaded the door against the rioters. Some Republican lawmakers complained about the screening.

Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the “folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”

Fending off concerns that an impeachment trial would bog down his first days in office, the president-elect is encouraging senators to divide their time between taking taking up his priorities of confirming his nominees and approving COVID-19 relief while also conducting the trial.

The impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Biden. Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging the election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, has said there was no sign of widespread fraud.

Like the resolution to invoke the 25th Amendment, the impeachment bill also details Trump’s pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes and his White House rally rant to “fight like hell” by heading to the Capitol.

While some have questioned impeaching the president so close to the end of his term, there is precedent. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, War Secretary William Belknap was impeached by the House the day he resigned, and the Senate convened a trial months later. He was acquitted.

Trump was impeached in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine but acquitted by the Senate in 2020.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is expected to impeach President Donald Trump for his encouragement of supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, a vote that would make him the first American president to be impeached twice.

CLICK HERE to watch

While the previous three impeachments — those of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump — took months before a final vote, including investigations and hearings, this time it will have only taken a week. After the rioting at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “we must take action,” and Democrats — and some Republicans — share her view ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

For now, the Republican-led Senate is not expected to hold a trial and vote on whether to convict Trump before Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as president Jan. 20. Still, Democrats feel that action by the House would send an important message to the country.

A look at what will happen as the House moves closer to impeaching Trump in his last week in office:

THE BASICS OF IMPEACHMENT

In normal order, there would be an impeachment investigation and the evidence would be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings, draft articles and send them to the full House. That’s what happened in 2019, when the House impeached Trump over his dealings with the president of Ukraine. It took three months.

This time, with so few days to act — and a feeling among Democrats that there is little need to investigate what happened, since most members of Congress heard Trump speak to his supporters and were in the Capitol when the mob broke in — impeachment is going straight to the House floor for a vote, which would come as soon as Wednesday.

Once the House votes to impeach, the articles and evidence would be sent to the Senate, where a trial would be held and there would be final votes to convict or acquit. That’s what the Senate did in early February of last year after Trump was impeached the first time.

THE ARTICLES

Democrats will begin debate Wednesday on a single impeachment charge: “incitement of insurrection.”

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” reads the four-page impeachment article, which was introduced by Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

“He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” it reads.

The article says the behavior is consistent with Trump’s prior efforts to “subvert and obstruct” the results of the election and references his recent call with the Georgia secretary of state, in which he said he wanted him to find him more votes after losing the state to Biden.

Trump has falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in the election, and the baseless claims have been repeatedly echoed by congressional Republicans and the insurgents who descended on the Capitol. Just before the riots, Trump spoke to the supporters near the White House and encouraged them to “fight like hell.”

As the protesters broke in, both chambers were debating GOP challenges to the electoral vote count in Arizona as part of the process for certifying Biden’s election win.

REPUBLICAN SUPPORT

On Tuesday, five Republicans said they would support impeachment. No Republicans supported Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she would vote to impeach Trump because “there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Cheney said Trump “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”

New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach. A former federal prosecutor, he said he did not make the decision lightly.

“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said. “I cannot sit by without taking action.”

Also saying they would vote for impeachment were Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

SENDING TO THE SENATE

Once the House passes the articles, Pelosi can decide when she sends them to the Senate. Under the current schedule, the Senate is not set to resume full sessions until Jan. 19, which is the day before Biden’s inauguration.

Some Democrats suggested Pelosi might wait to send the articles and allow Biden to begin his term without impeachment hanging over him. But many other Democrats have urged Pelosi to move immediately.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who will be in charge once Biden is sworn in, suggested in a letter to colleagues Tuesday the chamber might divide its time between confirming Biden’s nominees, approving COVID relief and conducting the trial.

If the trial isn’t held until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again.

Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the “folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”

SENATE POLITICS

It’s unlikely, for now, that enough Republicans would vote to convict, since two-thirds of the Senate is needed. Yet some Republicans have told Trump to resign, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and few are defending him.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has said he would take a look at what the House approves, but stopped short of committing to support it.

Other Republicans have said that impeachment would be divisive. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, long a key ally of the president, has been critical of his behavior in inciting the riots but said impeachment “will do far more harm than good.”

Only one Republican voted to convict Trump last year — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.

WHAT IMPEACHMENT WOULD MEAN

Democrats say they have to move forward, even if the Senate doesn’t convict.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted on Friday that some people might ask why they would try to impeach a president with only a few days left in office.

“The answer: Precedent,” he said. “It must be made clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the U.S. government.”