Washington: President Donald Trump was on Wednesday (local time) impeached by the US House of Representatives for “inciting” last week’s deadly violence at Capitol Hill. This made Trump the first US president to be impeached twice. Notably, Trump now faces a trial in the Senate. According to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, the trial is unlikely to be held before January 20, the inauguration of incoming president Joe Biden.Also Read - US: A Closer Look at Aafia Siddiqui's Case, Jailed in Texas | All You Need To Know
Congress voted 232 to 197 on the single article of impeachment charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection”. Also Read - US: All Hostages At Synagogue Out Alive And Safe, Confirms Texas Governor
McConnell in a statement released after the vote said that even if the Senate convened this week, “no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office”. Also Read - Hong Kong Airport Bans Transit Travellers From 153 Countries, Including India Amid Rising COVID Cases
A total of 10 Republicans broke ranks with the GOP to join their Democrat colleagues to vote in the impeachment resolution, in contrast to the year 2020, when not a single Republican voted for Trump’s impeachment.
The 10 GOP members include Dan Newhouse of Washington, John Katko of New York, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina, David Valadao of California, CNN reported.
After exercising his vote, Kinzinger said, “I think this is one of those votes that transcends any kind of political implication if the moment. This is one of those that you’re going to look back on when you’re 80 and this will be the one you talk about.”
“I don’t know what the future is, you know, I don’t know what that means for me politically but I know I’m at real peace right now,” he added.
Earlier, Speaker Nancy Pelosi termed those who attacked the Capitol as”domestic terrorists” and “the President of the United States incited this insurrection”.
Terming Trump as a “danger to the nation”, she said, “We know that the President of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”
Senate leader McConnell had earlier said that he would not reconvene the upper house of the Congress before January 19. He also said that he has not made a final decision on how he will vote in the impeachment trial, stating he intends to listen to the arguments when they are presented.
“it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration,” McConnell said in his statement.
On January 6, during a rally at the Ellipse, just outside the White House, Trump said, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.”
“Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.” he further said.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” he added.
Shortly after the speech, a group of Trump’s loyalists stormed the US Capitol building, clashing with police, damaging property, seizing the inauguration stage and occupying the rotunda.
The outgoing President has since been blocked on all major social networks at least until after he is out of office.
In late 2019, the House, with no Republican votes, impeached Trump for trying to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden ahead of the November election but Trump was acquitted in February after a 20-day Senate trial, according to a report by Voice of America.
(With agency inputs)